By Ronald Kabuye
As Uganda prepares to commemorate the world tuberculosis day on the 24th of March in Ntungamo District, Tobacco smoking has been cited out as the major cause of the epidemic across the global.
Speaking to journalists, the coordinator of the Uganda Health Communication Alliance UHCA, Richard Baguma Tinkasimire expressed dismay over the less attention given to the fact the many people catch tuberculosis because of tobacco consumption or as a result of tobacco weakening their immune system.
Baguma asserts that due to the innovations of the tobacco industry that portrays their new sensational products as less harmful like the electronic cigarette, tobacco chocolate, lipsticks, biscuits, cooks, shisha among others, the youths and females have been easily lured into tobacco consumption.
“a visible example is shisha smoking were a number of people share from the same pot and pipe, the person who has TB will directed and automatically spread it to others who don’t have.
We also know that the organs that are attacked by tuberculosis are the ones weakened by tobacco smoking like lungs and liver.” Said Mr.Baguma
Its on the above note that Baguma called for combined efforts from parents, public, government, academia among others to tackle the lies of the tobacco industry and openly tell the world that tobacco kills and is a major driver of epidemics adding that Tuberculosis is preventable by controlling our life style.
Research indicates that for every one shilling got from tobacco four shillings is used to treat the diseases that are caused by tobacco smoking.
According to the Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, for every 100,000 people 201 develop TB, while it accounts for 30% deaths of persons living with HIV.
This year’s tuberculosis day will run under the theme “it starts with me, end discrimination, stigma and prejudice for leprosy”
Meanwhile, Mr. Baguma revealed that according to their recent study, although the Tobacco Control Act 2015 (TCA 2015) expressly bans the sale of tobacco and its products in education institution and allocates its sale at a minimum of 100 meters away, tobacco is still prevalent in education institution.
“The recent study conducted in education institution in this country especially the High institution of learning, tobacco is sold either in their shops, canteens or just near the gate and there all these promotion materials which is against TCA.
This means we all have a responsibility of fighting tobacco use in order to safe guard our children and the public at large” said Mr. Baguma