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The capacities of 20 tobacco control policy advocates strengthened in Kinshasa

Kinshasa, March 18th, 2023 (CPA) – The capacities of 20 tobaccos control policy advocates in DRC, members of the NGO « Local Initiative for Integrated Development (ILDI-ONGD), a Congolese civil society organisation and member of the Tax Justice Africa Network (TJNA), were strengthened on Tuesday in Kinshasa, during a training workshop organised by this NGO.

« Our structure intends to train advocates of tobacco control policies in the DRC and equip them on the harms and toxicity of tobacco, » the manager of the project « Tax advocacy on tobacco in DRC« , Godefroid Mboyo told the press.

 « The implementation of these national policies is often hampered by several constraints, including interference from the tobacco industry, illicit tobacco trade, and the low increase in « tobacco taxes« , he lamented.

According to Godefroid Mboyo, through its essential role recognised by the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the laws of  DRC, civil society in tobacco control and other addictions wants to contribute to the improvement of people’s living conditions through advocacy with policy makers and can also contribute to the elaboration of policies to solve the problems that arise in the community.

Thus, he said, in order to promote an organization capable of influencing the various political, economic and fiscal decisions on tobacco and to constitute a real social counterweight, capacity building of ILDI members is necessary.

In his presentation, pharmacist Mputu Malolo, assistant to Professor Ndelo-di-Phanzu of the University of Kinshasa (UNIKIN), dwelt on « the harms of smoking and the negative impact of tobacco products on health and the environment”.

 « Tobacco is a product that is harmful to human health and pollutes the environment. It causes death, cardiovascular and lung diseases or cancer due to smoking, » he warned.

« I appeal to smokers to stop smoking tobacco, because it is responsible for many diseases, while the government is recommended to intensify awareness sessions with young people to get them to abandon this habit, » he said.

In addition, Mputu Malolo, head of work at UNIKIN, urged the government to provide researchers with the necessary means to conduct epidemiological studies to assess the danger that threatens the population and determine the number of diseases due to tobacco. CPA/

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