- The Solidarity Chemotherapy Association (SOCHIMIO) will organize a
session of information and education on childhood cancer in its Centre
for Counselling, Information and Education (CEIEC) in Yaoundé. It also
hopes to organize a TV roundtable on the management of cancers in
- National Cancer Institute (NCI) activities for World Cancer Day
include; a screening of the final video about its My Child Matters
project at NCI and other participating centres; a news conference to
spread the message and a handout in Arabic including data and results
from the project, to be delivered to health-care professionals.
- World Cancer Day activities organized by the Association Lalla Salma
de lutte contre le cancer (anti-cancer association), in cooperation
with L'Avenir, Rabat and the Hôpital de 20 août and Agir, Casablanca.
-Activities planned for World Cancer Day by the Federal Ministry of
Health include; 31 January: a press briefing by the federal ministers
of health, women affairs, information and environment; a poster
campaign to create awareness about healthy living ; 2-4 February:
Information briefs to be read at worship in mosques and churches ; 3
February: a TV talk show to educate the public about preventing cancer
and recognizing early signs and symptoms and 6 February: a grand rally
in Abuja, with about 500 participants, including schoolchildren and
mothers. T-shirts and Fez caps with this year's campaign theme will be
-The Princess Nikky Breast Cancer Foundation has planned the
following activities for World Cancer Day: 1 February: a courtesy call
on President Obasanjo, and the opening of the Princess Nikky Cancer
Resource Centre; 2 February: A roundtable conference on women and
children cancers, hosted by the Ministry of Women Affairs ;3 February:
Comedy for life, to focus attention on cancer and 4 February: a rally
against cancer, with President Obasanjo as the guest of honour
-The Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) will mark World
Cancer Day for the first time this year, with lectures, rallies and
radio and TV interactive programmes.
-The paediatric service in the Hôpital le Dantec is organizing
activities for World Cancer Day within the framework of the national
cancer plan and in partnership with Prof Jean-Marie Dangou, who is in
charge of cancer control in the Ministry of Health and Medical
- National and community events around the country organized by the
Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) include; A national event at
Anandale School, Rabie Ridge, Midrand, Gauteng on 2 February (community
event, marionette/puppet shows, entertainment, screenings, educational
talks and displays); Relay For Life on 3-4 February in Oudtshoorn,
Western Cape (community overnight event including cancer survivors
walk, luminaria ceremony, stalls and talks); Prayer services on 4
February for those living with cancer and those lost to the disease and
their relatives and friends; Community talks and displays at schools
and workplaces and visits to cancer patients in health centres.
-The Medical Research Council is working with the Cancer Association
of South Africa (CANSA) and the departments of education and health on
four colourful and action-packed events in relation to World Cancer
Day; on 2 and 4 February, the Council will stage two events in Patricia
Noah Junior Secondary School, Centane; on 9 and 10 February, it will
hold a second pair of meetings in Ntukai Senior Secondary School,
-The Ocean Road Cancer Institute will organize a charity walk to raise
funds for the treatment of children with cancer, with Tanzania's First
Lady, Anna Mkapa, as the guest of honour. The 5 km walk will start from
Kempinski Hotel in downtown Dar es Salaam and finish at the Institute.
Cancer awareness materials will appear in the Kiswahili and
English-language papers on 4 February. The Institute will also issue a
press release and distribute press kits.
St Jude Medical Minute, the 60-second national radio spot, will
feature St Jude's CEO, Dr William Evans, and Dr Les Robison, discussing
prevention and childhood cancer in connection with World Cancer Day.
Thank you Jackie for taking the time to be with us.
May I ask you to introduce yourself by telling us a little
about your personal background (education, professional experience) and
when, how and why you got involved in tobacco control?
Jackie Tumwine: My
name is Jackie Tumwine, I am a Ugandan lawyer with a Bachelor of Laws
Degree (LLB) from Makerere University and a Post Graduate Diploma in
Legal Practice. I have recently earned a Diplôme de Langue Française (DL) from Alliance Française.
LLB dissertation entitled- ‘The Child’s Right to a Smoke-Free
Environment’ jump started my interest in tobacco control. My research
analysed how tobacco violates children’s rights. Soon after completing
my dissertation I was fortunate to participate in a FCTC capacity
building workshop in Jinja, Uganda in 2004, organized by the Framework
Convention Alliance. There I met an amazing group of dedicated tobacco
control advocates from Africa, all working hard to fight tobacco’s toll
on people’s lives and they were making a difference. In short, I was
inspired and chose to take action. Shortly after, I founded the Health
and Environmental Rights Organization (HERO-Uganda) and I have been its
Executive Director since. HERO-Uganda is active in tobacco control in
Uganda, particularly in the area of advocacy for ratification of the
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and enforcement of our
smoke-free law. HERO’s aim is to protect the right to health and the
right to a clean and healthy environment through research, advocacy and
you tell us about the situation of tobacco in Uganda and what you
think the priorities are now for tobacco control? What are the main
challenges for tobacco control in your country?
Jackie Tumwine: The
2000-2001 Uganda Demographic and Health survey stated adult smoking
prevalence in Uganda to be 14.3%, with male smoking rates at 25.2% and
3.3% for females. According to the 2003 Global Youth Tobacco Survey,
youth smoking rates were as high as 33.1% (male 38.2%, female 21.7%) in
Arua, a major tobacco growing district in Uganda.
American Tobacco (BATU) is the main tobacco company and has been in
Uganda since the 1920’s. Tobacco is widely grown in 14 districts and
just last year BAT announced its plans to make Uganda a ‘centre of
excellence’ for tobacco leaf growing in East Africa’.
What BAT declined to mention is that BAT will in effect make Uganda a
centre of massive deforestation and a centre of discontented farmers
impoverished by BATU’s infamous loan schemes.
a 2004 public smoke ban exists, Uganda lacks a comprehensive tobacco
control law- one that offers the best protection to the most people,
covering a wide range of tobacco control issues like health warnings,
labeling and packaging, taxation and prices, sales and distribution,
advertising, sponsorship and promotion, anti smuggling and so on.
Uganda also needs to ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
(FCTC) which it signed in 2004. One major challenge is the aggressive
political and economic influence of BAT which waters down the political
now the priorities for tobacco control in Uganda are the ratification
of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the effective
enforcement of the existing smoke-free law, and the regular and
substantial increases in cigarette taxes.
One requirement for the Framework Convention is to upgrade the heatlh
warnings on the packs. Can you tell us what the situation is in Uganda?
Jackie Tumwine: Currently,
the health warnings on cigarette packs in Uganda are microscopic and
weak. ‘Cigarette smoking can be harmful to your health’ is written in
both English and Kiswahili on the side of the packs. Unfortunately the
high illiteracy levels in the country mean that the warnings go
unheeded and many smokers remain unaware of how seriously dangerous and
deadly smoking is to their health and the health of those around them.
Uganda should adopt the effective large, graphic health warnings found
on Canadian and Brazilian cigarette packs
Philip Morris is building a new factory in Senegal, advertising and
promotion seem hight everywhere in Africa. How do you assess the
influence and activity of the tobacco industry in Uganda?
Jackie Tumwine: In
Uganda British American Tobacco (BATU) is quite aggressive in the
promotion and marketing of its deadly products. There’s widespread
point of sale advertising, Sportsman signs bearing shop names are found
on many shops throughout the country, Embassy signs grace most bars and
restaurants and frequent competitions are featured in the press.
However, corporate social responsibility schemes are a current tobacco
industry marketing favourite. BATU’s widely publicized donations are
clearly aimed at buying political favour, improving its negative image and deflecting criticism and unwanted regulation. In the wake of the East African Community, BAT
has also a growing regional focus in its activities and marketing, for
example, BAT’s sponsorship of the annual East African Jua Kali (local
artisans) show and the 2006 transfer of Ugandan and Rwandan tobacco
factories to Kenya, making Kenya a centre of manufacturing excellence,
Uganda a centre for leaf growing excellence and Rwanda, a centre of
excellence for marketing and distribution of BAT’s killer products.
Q4 In many countries the tobacco industry is very influential and is able to limit the impact of tobacco control
legislation. How does the government deal with the industry in your country?
Jackie Tumwine: There
have been frequent press articles complete with photos of the president
and his officials gracing BAT launches and receiving hefty cheques.
This tobacco industry influence has undermined Uganda’s efforts to move
tobacco control forward. Q5. Can you tell us about the main organizations active in tobacco control in Uganda?
Jackie Tumwine: In
addition to HERO-Uganda, other organizations active in tobacco control
in Uganda include the Environmental Action Network (TEAN) whose court
case led to Uganda’s 2004 smoke-free law. The Uganda Tobacco or Health
forum is a network of tobacco control advocates in the country whose
members include doctors, lawyers, journalists and members of
professional medical organizations and environmental groups.
A first African Conference on Tobacco or Health has taken place in
Casablanca in December 2006, with a majority of representatives of
French speaking African countries in attendance. How do you assess the
cooperation between tobacco control advocates in Africa? Is there a
need for a continent wide network?
Jackie Tumwine: Even
though coalitions already exist in East Africa and Francophone Africa,
a continent wide network where African tobacco control advocates share
information, experiences and expertise is absolutely vital. I think
existing networks like Globalink can help us achieve this.
Q7. Is there anything else you want to add?
Jackie Tumwine: I
would also like to add that already we have a strong Framework
Convention on Tobacco Control thanks to the African cooperation and
solidarity during the treaty negotiations. Africa needs
this cooperation even more as we enter the critical stage of FCTC
implementation and as we face head-on the tobacco industry’s unwelcome
market expansion into Africa.
So what happened in Casablanca?
A question on the lips of many African tobacco control advocates
who missed this first African Conference on Tobacco or Health held in
Casablanca, Morocco, 7-10 December, 2006.
The Casablanca conference in itself was historic-it was the
first continent-wide meeting that brought together tobacco control
advocates from French-speaking Africa and those from English-speaking
Africa. The conference was organized and hosted by AMAPES STOP TABAC
whose bold initiative is commended. The conference was graced by
several international tobacco control advocates from outside Africa.
Presentations were rich and fell under the following topics- smoking
behaviour trends, tobacco and communicable diseases, tobacco related
diseases, addiction, cessation, industry behaviour, tobacco cultivation
and manufacturing, regulation, smoke-free environments, Corporate
Social Responsibility, women and smoking, tobacco taxation, tobacco and
poverty, NGOs and tobacco control, tobacco control advocacy and FCTC.
One point that resonated in numerous conference presentations and
discussions was the importance of regional and international
collaboration and cooperation among tobacco control advocates.
“There is strength in diversity…Building coalitions and
partnerships help avoid duplication of effort, increases geographical
reach and multiplies resources.” Dr. Yussuf Saloojee, ‘Strengthening
African Coalitions Against Tobacco’.
Although the conference registered 300 participants from 29 countries,
there have been expressions of concern about the relatively small
representation of African delegates, particularly from English speaking
Lessons drawn from the Casablanca conference that the organizers of the
next African Conference on Tobacco or Health (Tanzania or Senegal)
might want to consider:
1. Give timely and wide publicity of the event among tobacco control advocates in Africa as well as outside Africa.
2. Ensure representative participation of tobacco control advocates
from all regions of Africa in the conference (attendees, organization
and scientific committee members, chairs, presenters). Scholarship/
sponsorship opportunities (e.g travel grants) should be available for
tobacco control advocates from all African regions. Visa assistance
should be given where necessary.
3. Both scientific and non scientific aspects of tobacco control should be equally covered at the conference.
4. Translation/ interpretation services should be available in all sessions including workshops and seminars.
5. The meeting venue including dining halls and lobbies must be 100% smoke-free.
Below is the conference resolution
Casablanca Declaration on tobacco control
Concerned by the increasing death, disease, social, economic and environmental harms resulting from tobacco use
Alarmed by the role of tobacco use in increasing the burden of
infectious diseases, notably tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and pneumonia, thus
imposed a double burden on our societies
Troubled by continuous efforts of the tobacco industry to aggressively
market its product and to undermine tobacco control policies in Africa
Recognising that tobacco control must include all forms of tobacco use including narghile and smokeless tobacco
Recognising that tobacco use contributes to poverty and destroys our efforts at development
Recognising that no individual, family, organization or state can alone confront this epidemic
The delegates of the 1st African conference on tobacco or health hereby:
1. Call upon governments to ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco
Control (FCTC, WHO) and to enact and enforce legislation in conformity
with its articles
2. Call upon all regional, sub-regional and continental organizations to include tobacco control policies in their charters
3. Reaffirm the importance of continuing political support from the African region for the conference of the parties of the FCTC
4. Call upon NGOs to develop broad multisectorial coalitions to
sensitise the public of the importance of tobacco control, and to lobby
and work with governments
5. Recommend that all Africa conference’s delegates from both North and
Sub-Saharan Africa should be invited, continue at regular intervals
following this first conference. The conferences should include
translations into major international languages, and meeting venues
should obviously be declared smoke-free
6. Call upon governments to recognize that tobacco growing does not
have a viable long term future and does not contribute to sustainable
development. Governments should therefore not encourage new tobacco
7. Urge governments to protect tobacco policies from undue influence by
the tobacco industry and reject industry proposals for tobacco control
8. Call upon young people to protect themselves from tobacco and refuse
to be exploited by the tobacco industry, and adults to be exemplary
9. Call on the international community to facilitate the provision of technical, legal, financial and other support
10. Call upon all participants to urgently disseminate and promote these recommendations in their daily work
Adopted at Casablanca, Morocco on Saturday 9 December 2006
Participating members from 29 countries
Click here for picture and declaration in English and French:
BAT Rwanda has done it again. Last
November it was a donation of computers to a secondary school, and now,
barely two months later, Rwanda’s New Times newspaper
has reported a new scholarship scheme set up by BAT Rwanda to assist
needy students at the National University of Rwanda (NUR).
The giving out of scholarships worth Frw 6 million to 12 private needy
students is the latest in BAT Rwanda’s aggressive Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR) scheme. A scheme that is part of British American
Tobacco’s regional goal of establishing Rwanda as a centre of
excellence for the marketing and distribution of its killer products in
the East African region.
CSR is no doubt the current popular marketing strategy for the tobacco industry in Africa.
These corporate social responsibility initiatives by an industry that is responsible for untold death and disease are totally unacceptable. Internal British American Tobacco documents
reveal the company’s insincere motives behind their CSR drive; to
disguise the impact of its business conduct, to improve its negative
image (‘reputation management’) and to protect itself against unwanted
criticism and regulation particularly in light of the WHO Framework
Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
The BAT Rwanda CSR schemes should therefore be denounced by all
including the Rwandan government. Rwanda ratified the Framework
Convention on Tobacco Control back in October 2005. Article 13 of this
treaty calls for the banning of direct and indirect tobacco advertising
and sponsorship. Rwanda, therefore, has an important commitment, in
this regard, to her citizens, the United Nations and WHO to fulfill its
The full story:
The New Times (Kigali)
January 16, 2007
Posted to the web January 17, 2007
The British American Tobacco Rwanda (BAT) is to give out scholarships
worth Frw6 million to 12 private needy students with excellent grades
at the National University of Rwanda (NUR).
During the official ceremony to handover the cheque of the scholarship
to NUR authorities on January 12, the Director General of BAT-Rwanda,
Luc Badibanga said that the company is determined to assist needy
students who excel in their studies.
"The scholarship is meant to for needy private students and with
outstanding academic performances in their respective courses. This is
aimed at offering a decent future to needy students who may fail to
continue their studies after secondary school through education,"
Badibanga said, adding that the scholarships to NUR, is a living
testimony of the close links between the education sector and
Badibanga advised the underage children to avoid smoking as it may be
detrimental to their health and future. "We are aware of the risky
nature of the products we offer. Tobacco smoking is harmful to peoples'
health and underage children are argued not to smoke and elderly chain
smokers should quit it to avoid risks associated with it," he advised.
NUR Rector, Prof Silas Lwakabamba hailed BAT-Rwanda for the initiative
of playing an integral role in Rwanda's development and argued other
private companies to emulate BAT and support the socio-economic
development of the country. "In developed countries, education is
largely in the hands of the private sector but the phenomenon is
reverse in least developed countries," Prof Lwakabamba said after
receiving the cheque.
He added that for a stable future, investment in education needs
critical emphasis since without education, basic human needs can be
The university will determine the students to benefit from the
sponsorship and Prof. Lwakabamba promised students that the authorities
will be transparent in the selection of beneficiaries.
BAT-Rwanda is one of the leading tax payers in the country.
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