Myanmar to scale up high impact policies to reduce tobacco use

Myanmar to scale up high impact policies to reduce tobacco use

Nay Pyi Taw: Myanmar organized a conference aimed in reducing tobacco use and other risk factors associated to non-communicable diseases (NCDs).  The two-day long conference organized from June 26-27 by the Ministry of Health and Sports in the capital city Nay Pyi Taw saw the presence of about 300 persons including Dr. Myint Htwe, Minister of Health and Sports, members of the parliament, mayors and social ministers, representatives of the World Health Organization and NGOs.

The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union)-supported the conference under the theme, ‘Uniting for saving lives and saving money’. The stakeholders and participants of the conference discussed ways in developing cost effective interventions at national and sub-national levels including strategies to raise public awareness.

The Minister of Health and Sports highlighted the country’s role in the forthcoming United Nations High-Level Meeting (UN HLM) on NCDs, who inaugurated and closed the conference with calls for combined efforts to tackle this increasing public health challenge. At the UN HLM on NCDs in September this year, Myanmar will push for effective fiscal measures to reduce the burden of disease including taxes on tobacco.

Meanwhile Dr. Tara Singh Bam, The Union’s Deputy Director for the Western Pacific region said that Myanmar has made significant progress in policies proven to reduce tobacco use in recent years. Similar measures for NCDs will prevent the boom of diseases that are set to cripple health systems, he added.

The conference concluded with the declaration of 11 commitments, including adoption of WHO best buys on NCDs and scaling up of high impact policies to reduce tobacco use.