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Kenya seeks to integrate tobacco control into institutions curriculum

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya has announced plans to integrate tobacco control into the training institutions curriculum, an official said on Friday.

Dorcas Kiptui, the Head of Tobacco Control Unit in the Ministry of Health, said the government intends to introduce the subject into all tertiary institutions curriculum by the end of this year.

“We have already incorporated tobacco control teaching in the primary and secondary schools curriculum in collaboration the Ministry of Education,” she said during the launch of a study on tobacco advertising, promotion product display in the country.

Kiptui revealed that the government has also incorporated the subject into the curriculum within the health sector, particularly for dentists, medical and clinical officers.

“It is clear from the findings of various studies that increased awareness through education has the long term consequences on those abusing certain tobacco products,” she noted.

She observed that consumption of tobacco products is in the increase in Kenya and other developing countries, hence the need to incorporate tobacco control to help alleviate health related challenges.

A study that was done late last year found out that tobacco advertising and promotions are still prevalent in some parts of the country despite a ban on advertising and promotion of all tobacco products.

“Of the 400 tobacco vendors we visited in this study, we observed a form of advertising and promotion in 393 vendors,” Salome Nyambura, the lead researcher said.

Nyambura revealed that of the total observation of advertising and promotion, over half were for cigarettes while the remaining advertisements were on shisha products.

She said pervasiveness of tobacco product displays exposes consumers to tobacco products that work against existing tobacco laws.

Joel Gitali, the Chairman of Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance (KETCA) said that given the evidence from this study, it is clear that in spite of the bans on tobacco advertising and promotion, product displays are direct form of marketing that remains pervasive throughout the country.

Gitali said the government officials must take action to help enforce the law against people found breaking the law. 



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