Advocate for tobacco control received the World No Tobacco Day award

A passionate advocate for tobacco control received the World No Tobacco Day award today at a special ceremony at the Maldives Ministry of Health.

Ahmed Afaal, a health professional and vice chair of the country's Tobacco Control Board, was nominated by the Ministry of Health. The award, given on behalf of the SEARO regional director, was presented by WHO Representative Dr Akjemal Magtymova. She cited Mr. Afaal's "remarkable achievements" in countering the tobacco industry's influence in the country.

The annual ward is given to notable individuals around the world on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day. People in Maldives have been recipients many times, in connection with their role as pillars of tobacco control in the country.

In his acceptance remarks, Mr Afaal said the tobacco industry has been especially active in Maldives and elsewhere in recruiting first-time tobacco users among the young.

The Maldives has among the highest tobacco usage rates in the region.

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