High Level Advocacy Forum on Tobacco Control held in the Maldives
A High Level Forum on Tobacco Control with participation of HE Vice President, Cabinet Ministers, Member of Parliament and other high level officials from Health and other Ministries was organized by WHO Country Office in collaboration with the Health Protection Agency. The purpose of holding the forum was to raise awareness on the dangers of tobacco, to learn from success stories around the region and most importantly to advocate to the decision and policy makers the importance of tobacco control. The forum was addressed by Dr Arvind Mathur, WHO Representative to Maldives who in his opening remarks highlighted the forum as an unprecedented opportunity to ensure healthier future generations through collective efforts as tobacco control clearly have the linkage with economic and youth development.
Key speakers and participants at the forum included tobacco control experts from around the globe such as Dr Vera Luisa De Costa (Head of Convention Secretariat, WHO-HQ), Dr Thaksaphon Thamarangsi (Director, NDE, WHO-SEARO), Dr Palitha Abeykoon (Sri Lanka) and Dr Prakit Vathesatogkit (Thailand).
In his speech, His Excellency Vice President Mr Abdulla Jihad highlighted that the initiative taken by the WHO is a praise worthy campaign against tobacco and that we could succeed in making Maldives tobacco free. The Vice President also stated that the campaign is aimed to bring about a smoke free revolution so that the future generations would not consume tobacco and that this could be achieved with education, advocacy and multi sectorial cohesion. HE Vice President pronounced the vision of Smoke Free Home, Smoke Free Generation to Tobacco Free Maldives.