Health Ministry conferred with WHO ‘No Tobacco’ Day award

(From left) Dr. William Adu-Krow, PAHO/WHO Representative Guyana hands over the certificate of recognition to Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo receives the World No Tobacco Day award from Director of Non-Communicable Diseases and Mental Health, Dr. Anselm Hennis (DPI photo).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recognised Guyana’s efforts, towards tobacco control by presenting the Ministry of Public Health with the World No Tobacco Day award.

The Department of Public Information (DPI) said that on Friday,  a brief awards ceremony was held at the Marriott Hotel in observance of the occasion.

PAHO/WHO Representative to Guyana, Dr. William Adu-Krow said that the award is evidence that Guyana is making strides in the Americas to clamp down on health defects from tobacco use.

“…of all the ministries in Latin America and in the Caribbean the only ministry that could have been awarded the World No Tobacco Day award … is the Ministry of Public Health, Guyana,” Dr. Adu-Krow said, according to DPI.

Ministry of Public Health Volda Lawrence took the opportunity to recognise persons who made the passage of the tobacco control legislation a success. As well as the current government’s input, DPI said that Lawrence highlighted the work of former ministers Dr. Leslie Ramsammy and Dr. Bheri Ramsaran. The minister said that they began the process of tobacco control which gave this current government a head-start in finishing the process. This, she said, now leaves the implementation and effective enforcement of the law. PAHO/WHO was also recognised for its support to the Ministry of Public Health.

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo received the award on the ministry’s behalf from NCDs and Mental Health Director in Washington, Dr. Anselm Hennis.

The Ministry had met the criteria for the award as outlined by WHO after being nominated earlier in the year. The ministry was nominated in the category of ministries of health and excelled throughout the evaluation process. This achievement was announced by the WHO in May 2018 before the observance of World No Tobacco day 2018.

According to information from the WHO, the awarded ministry would have had to have recently been engaged in “a particular action or series of actions in the area of control at any local, national, regional or international level.” The ministry would have been required to overcome a huge obstacle in achieving the objective for which it was set.

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