Web based RESOURCE CENTRE for Tobacco Control to be developed: Preeti Sudan

Smt. Preeti Sudan, Union Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India inaugurated the roundtable consultation for development of Resource Center at Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, New Delhi on 27th July 2018. The event was organised by School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh and was supported by International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung disease. The tobacco control advocates and leaders form 18 different leading organisations across the country attended the consultation.  The major collaborating partners were MOHFW, WHO-SEARO, The Union, CTFK, VHAI, Vital Strategies. In addition, senior officials from Non-government organizations working primarily in tobacco control including MANT, Public Health Foundation of India, Sambandh Health Foundation, SEEDS Bihar; Institutions of Eminence like AIIMS Delhi and JIPMER Puducherry; Reputed medical institutes like MAMC and Vardhman Mahavir Medical College; National Institutes like IIHMR and NICPR; State Government officials from New Delhi and Punjab were also present.

The main objective of the consultation was the establishment of a resource centre for tobacco control which shall serve as one-point reference system for all tobacco control (TC) updates and technical resource materials in the country.

 Chief Guest of the occasion Mrs. Preeti Sudan said that the tobacco menace takes a toll of about 1.3 million people per year in our country and also showcased the commitment of Govt. of India for Tobacco Control. She told that the interventions by GOI has led to a drastic reduction in prevalence of tobacco use in country, as validated by recently released report of 2nd round of Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). Further she appreciated the innovative idea of one point Resource Centre which has a potential to serve policy makers, implementers, academicians and researchers for strengthening NTCP implementation and also furthering trainings and research in tobacco control.She also called upon partner organisations working in tobacco control along with national and state tobacco control cells to work in unison towards the development of this resource centre by sharing information (especially innovations in tobacco control at state/ national level), so that this centre becomes one-point source for seeking information on tobacco control.

Dr. Sangeeta Talwar, Vice Principal, MAIDS provided operational support to the event and addressed the gathering. Dr. Sonu Goel, Additional Professor, PGIMER, Chandigarh apprised about the need of establishing a Resource centre for tobacco activities in the country.Framing a Resource centre, is a much needed step in the country at this stage which shall be able to facilitate speedy implementation of WHO FCTC, MPOWER and other Tobacco Control interventions. This virtual centre will help in providing all the relevant information under one roof. Besides, it will regularly update the evidences and facts which will solve the current issues of information-gap and facilitate program managers in seeking correct, reliable, updated and contextual data and statistics in tobacco control. Further,the resource centre can also be effectively utilized by program implementers, academicians, researchers and other stakeholders for capacity building.

Dr. Rana J Singh, Dy. Regional Director (Tobacco and NCD Control) deliberated upon the role of coalition partners in sustenance of Resource Centre. He said that the RC will provide momentum to existing coordination mechanisms and collaborations in tobacco control for harmonized initiatives and thus strengthening partnerships in the area.

All the participating organisations enthusiastically supported the initiative of establishment of resource centre and a broad consensus was built regarding web structure of resource centre.

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Editor in Chief of City Darpan, national hindi news magazine.

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