By Isatou Jawara
RAID Gambia in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare last week organised a capacity building forum for various youth organisations.
The one-day sensitisation, held at the NANA conference centre, was designed to familarise these organisations on the newly enacted tobacco control Act 2016 in the Gambia and the WHO Framework on the Convention on Tobacco Control.
The Director of Health Promotion and Education at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Modou Njie, said since the enactment of the act, government has been targeting youth associations to familarise them with these changes.
Mr Njie also condemned what he calls the targeting of young people by tobacco companies.
He said: “Any resident who engages in any form of tobacco advertising promotion and sponsorship including publishing any materials related to tobacco within the Gambia and across its borders, shall be dealt with according to the law.”
Mr Sambujang Conteh, the executive director of RAID Gambia said as part of countries that signed and ratified the WHO convention on tobacco control, the Gambia shall always endeavor to uphold such commitments.
He recalled that in 2003, RAID Gambia together with some National Assembly members worked to put a ban on tobacco advertisement in the Gambia, which he said was “effectively implemented”.
“The summarised version of the tobacco control act should be used as tool by youth organisations to massively sensitise the public.”
He said that was the expectation of the organisers of this training.
“Promoting tobacco brands at entertainment events or displaying of pictures and brands names is prohibited,” Mr Conteh warned offenders.