16 Jun 2010
Updated 26/6/2016 – Dr Patrick Musavuli is no longer an FCA regional coordinator.
If all African countries are to kick the tobacco epidemic they must ratify and implement the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), says Dr Patrick Musavuli – the Framework Convention Alliance’s (FCA) newly appointed regional coordinator (RC) for the WHO Africa Region (AFRO).
As of June 1 Patrick began his new FCA appointment and is already immersed in his job, which involves coordinating FCA’s campaign activities in the African region, and playing an integral role in the African Tobacco Control Consortium (ATCC).
“I will ensure African civil society actively participates in the FCTC process as well as implementing FCA activities in the region,” Patrick said.
Patrick will also be involved with the FCA shadow-reporting project, which includes delivering media advocacy campaigns at national and regional levels. These campaigns hold Parties to the treaty accountable for their FCTC implementation obligations.
Reversing the African tobacco epidemic
Patrick says governments in the AFRO region must be made aware that they need to reverse the tobacco epidemic by making it a top priority.
“According to a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) report, in 2007 African people smoked 400 billion cigarettes, and the illicit tobacco market represented 15 per cent of cigarettes consumed in Africa.”
Patrick says these statistics are enough to show that something must be done to control the tobacco epidemic sweeping across Africa.
Patrick’s WNTD award
Patrick’s appointment to the FCA is not the only thing he should be congratulated on.
Recently, Patrick received a WHO World NO Tobacco Day (WNTD) 2010 award. The award recognizes Patrick’s tobacco control work in the African region, and his country – the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). View the list of awardees.
Humbly, Patrick admits the award is a great honour but he says he dedicates it to the people who have worked with him in tobacco control since he first began working in the area in 2001.
“In tobacco control, as with other areas, there are no individual successes. All successes at the local, national and regional levels are the fruit of good collaboration and a synergy of efforts between civil society groups, governments, partners, donors, WHO and the UN,” said Patrick.
Patrick’s tobacco control career
Patrick first started his tobacco control habit when he created the non-government organization (NGO) Association de Lutte contre le tabagisme en Afrique (LUCTAF) in 2001 with some fellow university students.
Patrick says LUCTAF is now the leading tobacco control NGO in DRC that advocates and lobbies for a Tobacco Control Bill and FCTC implementation.
Other steps in Patrick’s tobacco control career include:
• In 2006 Patrick started working for the DRC Ministry of Health’s tobacco control program.
• In 2007 LUCTAF joined the Francophone pan African network Initiative for Mobilization for Tobacco Control (IMPACT), and Patrick became its executive secretary.
• Through IMPACT Patrick became an FCA member and organised the alliance’s central Africa workshop in Kinshasa DRC. He also became a Globalinker during 2007.
• In 2008 Patrick was elected to the board of the newly formed African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA). At the same time the Africa Tobacco Control Regional Initiative (ATCRI) also launched and Patrick became its regional Francophone consultant till 31 May 2010. He now serves as a member of ATCRI advisory board.
• In 2009, Patrick joined the international Francophone Group for Tobacco Control (GIFT) after a workshop held in Paris, France before he became the FCA’s AFRO regional coordinator.
Patrick speaks fluent French and English, and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to his new role.
Patrick replaces Mr Adeola Akinremi who moves onto a new role within ATCRI. Patrick and Adeola will remain working together through ATCC.