Advocates call for research in African tobacco harm reduction
Professor Abdul Kasse, a lecturer and oncologist at the International de Cancerologue in Dakar, said the concept appears to be stalled because there is little engagement among key people.
Kenya: Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) advocates have called for African-based research on the concept to deepen understanding and promote local engagement and orientation of tobacco users in order for the concept to be accepted across the African continent.
"Other forms of harm reduction, such as using seat belts in cars, wearing masks to prevent Covid 19, and condom usage to prevent HIV, among others, are working," said Malawian THR Advocate Chimwemwe Ngoma at the hybrid 2nd Edition of the Reduction Exchange underway in Nairobi, Kenya.
He observed that if evidence from local research was used to increase the benefits of THR, it would change the negative perception that many people on the African continent have of THR.
Professor Abdul Kasse, a lecturer and oncologist at the International de Cancerologue in Dakar, said the concept appears to be stalled because there is little engagement among key people and a lack of local research.
"Many people have the impression that anything related to tobacco is done to make money for the tobacco industry without understanding the entire concept. Unfortunately, many people do not see tobacco as something that kills many people through smoking... There is a critical need to involve influential stakeholders, decision-makers, and users. This will simplify THR advocacy. In order to have a large impact, there is also a need for evidence-based information based on findings from African countries," he said.
The theme of the Exchange meeting is "Harm Reduction: Making a Difference in Africa." The theme focuses on the advancements made through Harm Reduction strategies in all areas of public health.