Ummy Mwalimu calls on community engagement in ending tobacco related deaths

Wednesday May 31 2017

Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu

Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu 

By Syriacus Buguzi @buguzi

Dar es Salaam. Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu has appealed for support from the Tanzanian people in putting an end to deaths linked to tobacco smoking in the country.

In her message on World No Tobacco Day, Ms Mwalimu said 14 per cent of all Tanzanians are smoking tobacco, as she cited a 2013 study carried out by the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Children and the Elderly in collaboration with National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“This study showed that 17.5 per cent people in households who don’t actively smoke tobacco are exposed to the substance by other smokers. And, 24.9 per cent are exposed to the tobacco smoke in workplaces,’’ wrote the Minister through her official social media account.

“The use of tobacco leads to diseases and death,’’ she warned further.

Data obtained from the Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) and Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) show that 32 per cent of the cancer cases reporting to these institutions are linked to smoking tobacco.

“Today as we mark World No Tobacco Day, let me use this opportunity to call upon all Tanzanians to take it as their duty in preventing this vice and therefore contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs),’’ noted the Minister.

“To all smokers, it’s time they stopped smoking tobacco and protect others from the health risks associated with it,’’ he said.