It was 6th Nov, 2018 and the town of Mbarara woke up to youths dressed in black standing at different roundabouts holding posters and distributing flyers informing the public about the dangers of tobacco use and its related costs. There was curiosity and eagerness from the public. Passers-by, bodaboda men, shop keepers, students and even drunkards gathered at different junctions as they listened to the TC advocates explain the dangers of tobacco use.
Tobacco Control (TC) Mourning Morning is an activity organized by Uganda Health Communication Alliance in partnership with Tobacco Control advocates, Ministry of Health and other partners. The event was aimed at promoting compliance for the Tobacco Control Act 2015 and accelerating adoption of the TC regulations.
The event also focuses on mourning the people that die from tobacco use and exposure. According to the World Health Organization; tobacco kills up to half of its users, kills more than 7 million people each year and more than 6 million from direct use while around 890 000 from second hand smoke. Tobacco use is the leading cause of illness and deaths.
Some of the areas in the town covered included Masaka Road Junction – Mahembegente, High Street – Buremba Road Junction (Shell Ankole area), Bishop Wills Street – Buremba Bananuka road junction. Additionally, there was a media briefing with The Mayor of Mbarara , The Community Liaison Officer of Rwizi Region and The Coordinator of Uganda Health Communication Alliance (Baguma Richard).
We need joint effort in sensitizing the public about the dangers of tobacco use and implementation of the Tobacco Control Act 2015.