uganda Management Institute, NBS TV and Cinema Magic Naalya emerged the winners of the first Smoke Free Public Place Awards in Kampala and Wakiso Districts. These awards were to celebrate those institutions that intentionally put efforts in complying to the Tobacco Control Act 2015 with particular emphasis on smoke free public places provision. The colorful ceremony organized by Uganda Health Communication Alliance-UHCA (the organizers of the award) took place at Uganda Management
In his remarks, Baguma Richard the UHCA Coordinator said, “The awards were conducted to recognize those people and institutions that have taken the necessary steps to promote the health of their workers, clientele and businesses by keeping away any tobacco use from their premises.
The exercise involved online nominations of different premises and physical verification of the nominated places by three different teams of TC advocates from different CSOs under the Tobacco Free Uganda umbrella. The verification criteria was based on the Tobacco Control Act 2015, Sections 11,12, and 13 which stipulate that every person has a right to a Tobacco Smoke-Free Environment. It further states that a person shall not smoke in a public place, workplace or in any means of public transport and Tobacco Smoking is prohibited within 50 meters of a public place.
The establishments under nomination were either office buildings, health institutions, educational institutions, cinemas and theatrical performance venues, sports play grounds, factories or industries and hotels, restaurants and bars.
The establishments were expected to have ; ‘No Smoking’ signages, no ashtrays in the premises, no shisha point of sale, strictly prohibiting smoking in premises and not selling, advertising or promoting tobacco products.
Out of the 22 nominated places, only three were the winners of the awards. Uganda Management Institute, NBS TV and Cinema Magic Naalya. The awards were presented to the respective winners by the representative for tobacco control from the Ministry of Health, Chairperson of the National Tobacco Control Committee and the Deputy Division Mayor of Kampala division.
Dr.Namubiru Proscovia Ssentamu,Head of Quality Assurance received the award on behalf of Uganda Management Institute and pledged their commitment to comply with the Tobacco Control Act 2015. Furthermore, she said, “The next time you come back it will be more than 100 per cent compaliant. I know we don’t have enough signage for no smoke material but it’s a wakeup call up to do more and even to cascade and institutionalize the Tobacco Control Act as well sensitizing participants, staff and visitors about the dangers of tobacco consumption.”
In the same spirit of delight, Next Media Services-NBS TV Public Relations Officer received the award on behalf of her team and thus promising to continue with compliance.
Participants at the award ceremony included; representatives from Ministry of Health, Tobacco Free Kids, Uganda Health Consumers Organization-UNHCO, journalists from different media houses, students from MUBS, Makerere University, Uganda Institute of Information and Communication Technology, UICT, Kyambogo University, UMI and members of the public.