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Mamobi gets Community Forum Support Team

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Vision for Alternative Development (VALD), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to promote community health advocacy was inaugurated on Tuesday as a branch of the Community Forum Support Team (CHEST) at Mamobi in Accra.

The CHEST is aimed at building and strengthening local capacity to support and monitor the implementation of the Tobacco Control Bill when pass into law by Parliament.

It would initially focus on tobacco control, poverty reduction and non-communicable diseases at the local levels and in future alcohol prevention, nutrition and physical activity, diabetes, cancer, heart and lung diseases.

Inaugurating a six-member Mamobi CHEST, Alhaji Chief Imoro Baba Issah, Chairman of the Council of the Ayawaso East Muslim Chiefs reminded the gathering comprising opinion leaders and school children from the area that tobacco smoking was a poison and killer.

He said Ghanaians must show concern in fighting the menace of tobacco smoking, saying: “one cigarette smoker in a home or in a passenger vehicle is a health risk to all.”

He advised children to move away from tobacco abuse and rather concentrate on their studies, “because whatever you put in your education today you will reap in future”, adding “if you buy cigarette for your father, brother or a friend you are buying poison for them.”

Alhaji Chief Issah advised the Mamobi CHEST members to go about their educational programmes in the community with patience, tolerance, humility and respect so that their messages could achieve the desired goals of eradicating the harmful effect of tobacco smoking and other health related matters.

A member of VALD, Mr Samuel Dartey urged Parliament to expedite the passage of the Tobacco Control Bill this year to enable the VALD to establish CHEST nationwide to monitor the adherence of the law.

He said tobacco smokers spent about 10 per cent to 15 per cent of their household income on cigarette products.

Mr Dartey said these could be channel to the education of their children, food and shelter, clothing and other family needs.

Governments also spend a lot of national revenue in treating those who have fallen prey to the dreadful cigarette products, he added.

He cautioned said CHEST, VALD and other civil society groups would embark on a nationwide demonstration if the Ministry of Health failed to present the Bill to Parliament for passage.

The Bill when passed into law would protect present and future generation from the dangers of tobacco smoke.

Source: GNA

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