Rajasthan Health Department wins WHO’s Award for Tobacco Control
The World Health Organisation (WHO) awarded Rajasthan government’s Medical & Health Department its Tobacco Control Award for year 2019 in recognition of Rajasthan’s achievements in the field of tobacco control.
- The Award was conferred by WHO on occasion of World No Tobacco Day (celebrated on 31 May 2019) at a function in New Delhi.
- Background: Every year WHO recognizes various individuals and institutions worldwide and in each of six WHO regions for their accomplishments in area of tobacco control. For this year’s prestigious award WHO selected total 33 institutions and individuals across world including five organisations from the South-East Asian (SEA) region viz. India, Thailand and Indonesia. The two institutes selected from India (in SEA region) includes Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute (in New Delhi) and Rajasthan’s Health Department.
- Rajathan’s Medical and Health Department was the only government body in country which was awarded for its tobacco-free initiatives.
Rajasthan’s Tobacco Campaigns
- During year 2018-19, Rajasthan’s Medical & Health Department launched several campaigns against tobacco consumption at places like schools, colleges, police stations and government offices.
- Pledge Initiative: On 30 January 2019 which marks the Martyrs’ Day (or Sarvodaya Day), state government undertook tobacco-free initiatives in which 1.13 crore people took pledge against tobacco consumption at events held in 1.56 lakh government institutions and people were also made aware about ill-effects of tobacco consumption.
- Tobacco Free Premises Initiative: Health Department in coordination with other departments has developed tobacco-free premises near anganwadi centres, educational institutions and health facilities to ensure that no tobacco product is sold within 100 yards of these places.
- Way Ahead: As Department’s efforts for tobacco control is now acknowledged internationally thus State government must affirm that it would keep striving to accomplish the goal of a “healthy Rajasthan”.