People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
- March 26, 2012
By Ibrahim MAÏGA DJIBO
Executive Secretary/SOS Tabagisme-Niger
Responsible for more than 63 percent of deaths worldwide and for one-half of global cases of disability, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) result in huge costs to families and health systems.
Like other countries, Niger pays a heavy price to care for the victims of NCDs. According to the World Health Organization (IARC Global study, 1998), cancer incidence in Niger was 2,688 in 1998 and is currently estimated at 8,000 new cases per year. The care of cancer victims represents most of the costs of medical evacuation (1.5 billion CFA [$US1.5 million] per year on average).
Faced with this situation and based on the Political Declaration of the United Nations High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of NCDs (NCD Summit), September 2011, Niger recently adopted the National Strategic Plan for Prevention and Control of NCDs, 2012-2016.
Developed through an inclusive approach, the Plan aims to help improve health through integrated control of NCDs. The plan is divided into four strategic areas: strengthening the control of NCDs; strengthening governance and leadership in the prevention and control of NCDs; developing mechanisms for financing NCDs control, and promoting research on NCDs.
A unique feature of the plan is the importance given to prevention. Measures will strive to prevent the occurrence of NCDs by initiating major campaigns around key risk factors: smoking, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.
Regarding tobacco control, the National Strategic Plan proposes various activities: more information campaigns against tobacco use; the dissemination and enforcement of the tobacco control law, and advocacy for the adoption of fiscal measures applied to tobacco by the Government. These are important steps in the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
The Plan calls for Niger to allocate US$8.8 million for prevention and control of NCDs. Implementation of the FCTC will be through enforcement of the tobacco law.