You are currently viewing Stakeholders urged to contribute to full implementation of health policies

Stakeholders urged to contribute to full implementation of health policies

Mr Labram Musah, the Executive Director of Vision for Alternative Development (VALD) has called on stakeholders to contribute to the full implementation of the National NCD Policy and Strategy, Public Health Act (ACT 851), and others. 

“Through this way, we will be able to uniquely overcome the challenges of diseases and help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he stated.  

Mr Musah in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency said: “We must be excited about the journey as far as we mark 20 years of the existence of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the global public health treaty that serves as the world’s front-line defence against the tobacco epidemic.  

“However, the greatest barrier to the implementation of the WHO FCTC is the same today as it was in 2003 – the tobacco industry and it’s allied front groups and agents.” 

Mr Musah said the passage of the recent Excise Amendment Bill into an Act was received with so much joy and excitement, adding that; “This is because at least for a close to a decade no significant achievement was made around tobacco taxation.” 

He expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Finance, Ghana Revenue Authority, Food and Drugs Authority, Ministry of Health (MoH), the various civil society organisations, WHO, United Nations Development Programme and Parliament for their roles in passing the law.  

“We are grateful to the President who despite the pressure from industry players, looked at the public health gains and signed the Excise Tax into law.” 

The Executive Director noted that the tax increases would help reduce the affordability, accessibility, and exposure of tobacco and other unhealthy products among children, young people, and the poor while improving the health of all. 

“We are however unhappy about the inclusion of taxes on e-cigarette, this is a huge public health concern across nations, and we appeal to the MoH to urgently seek avenues to amend the Act to prevent this from happening.  

“We won’t as a country be able to handle or manage the consequences of e-cigarette and other emerging tobacco products,” he stated, adding; “The fate of millions of lives depends on all of us to act decisively to end this global epidemic to save both the present and future generations.” 

Mr Musah called on the government to earmark a percentage of the tobacco tax to finance health and development projects. 

He recommended that it was time the government protect the people from the deadly tobacco industry, which seeks nothing but to destroy lives and harm the planet in service of its products. 

“Protect us from the industry’s long decade’s attempts to deceive the public and their recent false claim of ‘harm-reduction’ and a ‘smoke-free future’ even as they continue marketing cigarettes to young people and children everywhere,” he said.  

He suggested the development of a code of conduct to guide public officials to avoid conflict of interest when dealing with the tobacco industry and their front groups. 

“Let us stand together as we commemorate World No Tobacco Day to declare our commitment to prioritizing food, not tobacco and also advocate for comprehensive tobacco control policies while preventing the tobacco industry from interference, to pave the way for healthier, tobacco-free Ghana.” 

Source: GNA 

Leave a Reply