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RAID Gambia And Partners Orient Journalists On Tobacco Control Act 

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Mr. Sambujang Conteh, the Executive Director of RAID, And Muhammad S.Bah The President Of the Gambia Press Union 

By Ramatoulie Jawo 

RAID GAMBIA, the Ministry of Health, and the World Health Organization (WHO) held a day-long orientation for journalists on the 2016 Tobacco Control Act on Monday, July 24, 2023.

The objective of the orientation was to build the capacity of journalists in the Gambia to report on tobacco control activities. This includes understanding the prevalence rate of tobacco use in the country, the health and economic implications of tobacco use, and the government’s response to the Tobacco Control Act.

 Sambujang Conteh, the Executive Director of RAID Gambia, spoke at the meeting to highlight the objective of the orientation.

He said that the objective of the orientation is to build the capacity of journalists to effectively contribute to the advocacy for the implementation of the tobacco control laws in The Gambia.

Conteh explained that the Comprehensive Tobacco Control Act 2016 was enacted in order to control the demand and supply of tobacco and its related products.

“Since the enactment of the Tobacco Control Act in the Gambia, RAID as a Civil Society Organization in the Gambia has been supporting the advocacy and targeting relevant stakeholders for the implementation of the tobacco control act,” he said. 

Mr. Conteh expressed his gratitude to the media fraternity for their editorials, as well as the Ministry of Health, the WHO Country Office, and the donors to the RAID Capacity Building Project, for their support in trying to make the Gambia a tobacco-free society.

Mr. Momodou Gassama, Health Promotion Officer at the World Health Organization (WHO) Gambia Office, has said that Africa loses $10.7 billion every year as a result of tobacco use.

Gassama described this as a “huge economic loss” to the African continent.

“The Gambia is losing 80 billion tons of carbon dioxide due to the use of tobacco Which is detrimental to the environment and a contributing factor to global warming,” he said.

Muhammad S. Bah, President of the Gambia Press Union (GPU), praised the efforts of RAID Gambia in combating the use of tobacco products. He called on the government to provide more financial support to RAID Gambia from the taxes collected on tobacco products. This, he said, would help RAID Gambia to overcome some of the challenges it faces in its fight against tobacco use in The Gambia.

Bah also encouraged journalists to write more about the Tobacco Control Act and the dangers of tobacco use. He said that by raising awareness of these issues, journalists can help to reduce the number of people who smoke in The Gambia.

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