Lack of political will, awareness revealed in African shadow reports

Political will to implement tobacco control and little awareness of existing laws among the general public are common findings of 2012 shadow reports of African governments’ performances in implementing the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Supported by FCA, civil society organisations analysed the implementation of the FCTC, the world’s only modern-day public health treaty. Other challenges they identified include:

  • Limited financial resources
  • Inadequate technical capacity
  • Poverty and other social challenges
  • Lack of effective penalties, and
  • Interference by the tobacco industry in policy-making.

“The absence of a comprehensive tobacco control law has therefore created complacency on both the part of government and the general public on observing the rights and obligations under articles 8 & 13 of the FCTC,” says the report by the Uganda National Tobacco Control Association.

“The tobacco industry on the other hand has taken advantage of this situation by pretending to self-regulate while continuing to advertise, promote and sponsor dangerous products,” it adds.

In Zambia there is “a yawning gap between policy-making and implementation of tobacco control in Zambia,” says the shadow report by the Zambia Consumer Association.

“It demonstrates that even the best policies aimed at improving health can remain redundant, if timely and continuous efforts to monitor and evaluate the effect of such policies are absent,” concludes the report.

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