By Ronald Kabuye
Ministry of health in conjunction with Kampala divisional mayors and civil societies in the fight against tobacco consumption in Uganda, have launched Tobacco death clock at various entry points of the city center.
while launching the tobacco death clock at centenary park in kampala, Richard Baguma Tinkasimire, the coordinator of Uganda Health Communication Alliance UHCA said that this has been done to remind city dwellers and those who come to Kampala that tobacco related deaths are real hence it requires combined efforts to fight it.
Baguma also appealed to the diplomats, foreigners and Ugandans to behave in a diplomatic way and stop abusing the laws including the tobacco control act.
“The tobacco death clock will keep reminding us, city dwellers, those who come to Kampala and tobacco users on how many people die every day because of tobacco use and the money spent on treating tobacco related diseases.
We also hope that those diplomats and foreigners who come and break our laws with impunity by consuming shisha and other tobacco products in public places and resist arrest by flagging their diplomatic passports, beat law enforcers and behave in undiplomatic manner to stop and respect our laws.
we call upon all the ambassadors to prevail over their people so that they respect our laws.” Said toughing talking Baguma
Available statistics indicate that 38 people die every day in Uganda due to diseases related to tobacco consumption while more than 3.30 billion shillings is spent annually on the treatment of the same.
In the same way, the head of mental health in the ministry of health Dr. Hafiswah Lukwata expressed gratitude for the many people who have joined the fight against tobacco use especially the young people and politicians.
“We are moving and am happy that the young people are joining the cause, we just need to keep sensitizing them because the industry targets them since they are their future business. Now that we have them on board, we should keep sensitizing them in order to cut the end users.
People also need to know buying and using tobacco product is buying their own deaths, I can only equate tobacco industry to murderers.” Said Doctor Lukwata
She also revealed that though the law is in force but the regulations for tobacco control act will be complete in two months’ time.
Meanwhile Kampala deputy mayor Sam Gombya, appealed to his fellow politicians not to interfere with the implementation of the tobacco control act and other beneficial laws especially concerning health since its only healthy people that will vote them into their respective political offices.
He further called on parents and teachers to be vigilant and keen on their children since they have replaced tobacco with many more harmful products like Kubber and shisha that lead to mental disorder.
The tobacco death clock is being spread to various districts in the spirit of reminding all Ugandans on the dangers of tobacco use.