Angola drives innovation in communicating tobacco control

Angola drives innovation in communicating tobacco control

The smoking epidemic is one of the greatest public health threats the world has ever faced. Tobacco kills an estimated 8 million people yearly, with 1.2 million of those deaths being non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke.

The World Health Organization (WHO) works with Member States to assist them in fulfilling their obligations under the terms of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Among several initiatives, the Framework Convention recommends developing and implementing programs to promote tobacco prevention in schools, universities, healthcare facilities, workplaces, and sports environments.

It also recommends including services to diagnose tobacco dependence and help people quit smoking as part of national health and education programs, plans, and strategies.

In this context, WHO in Angola supported the National Institute for Drug Control (INALUD) in the production of a comic book education magazine, “Sonhos Límpidos,” a vital information vehicle to strengthen awareness, education, and sensitization on the benefits of healthy and tobacco-free lifestyles, as well as smoking prevention among children and young people.

The initiative falls within the scope of the Writing and Drawing in Schools project, carried out annually by INALUD in partnership with the Ministry of Education to mark World No Tobacco Day. During this project, children from various schools demonstrate their skills and creativity by drawing and painting about the harmful effects of smoking, which they have observed in their communities, thus contributing to education and prevention against tobacco.

According to the Director of INALUD, Dr. Ana Graça, despite the prevention campaigns that have been carried out in the country, there is still a deficit in the education of young people to prevent smoking and other substances harmful to the population’s health. For this reason, Ana Graça added that “the cartoon magazine represents a significant initiative to reinforce information about the dangers of smoking and the crucial measures that must be taken to prevent, treat and combat it.”

“We at INALUD believe that education on the dangers of smoking should start in the cradle, in families, during the primary socialization process. Since extending the education intervention in the desired format is impossible, we bet on early childhood through schools, which have been a great partner in transmitting knowledge and skills in schools.”

The magazine “Sonhos Límpidos” is the first of many that INALUD intends to make available to young people, adults, and the general population, to portray current themes and present them in families and communities in a simple, lively, and pedagogical way.

Among the topics covered in this first edition are: a) tobacco components, b) criteria and diagnoses for tobacco dependence, c) the current situation of smoking in Angola, d) local experience in combating smoking, e) National and International Protocols to combat smoking; f) the role of the family and the media in the fight against smoking and g) Perspectives for the future.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO) – Angola.

Source: African Business