Botswana Red Cross Society Launches Tobacco Control Unit In Maun

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The Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) has launched a Tobacco Control Unit in Maun, in a development aimed at promoting community health and well-being which is free from tobacco use.

The launch, held last week, marked a pivotal moment in the organisation’s ongoing commitment to combatting tobacco consumption and exposure in the community.

Kutlwano Mukokomani, Secretary General of BRCS expressed gratitude for the community’s participation, emphasising the importance of the initiative in safeguarding public health. He highlighted BRCS’s dedication to humanitarian principles and its role in providing essential services to vulnerable communities, underlining the significance of the newly established Tobacco Control Unit.

Mukokomani underscored the alarming threats posed by tobacco use to society’s health, social fabric, environment and economy.

In Botswana, tobacco use remains a significant public health concern, with approximately 18.3% of adults aged 15-69 reported as smokers. Among these, men exhibit a notably higher prevalence rate of 31.4% compared to women at 4.9%. The health consequences of tobacco use are grave, with close to 2000 Botswanans losing their lives annually due to smoking-related diseases.

The project’s objectives were outlined, focusing on the establishment of a rehabilitation center community engagement, and providing essential services to those affected by tobacco use. Mukokomani commended the collaborative efforts with the ministry of health, highlighting the Botswana Tobacco Control Act as a crucial tool in regulating tobacco control measures and promoting a healthier environment.

Providing an update on the project’s progress, Mukokomani revealed that outreach efforts had already reached approximately 8000 individuals in Maun, with 2000 individuals screened for tobacco use. Of those screened, around 1300 expressed willingness to quit smoking, emphasising the project’s impact in the community.

In conclusion, Mukokomani called for collective action from stakeholders, partners, and community members to support the initiative. He echoed President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s call for a mindset change and urged everyone to join hands in creating a healthier, tobacco-free community where individuals can thrive to their fullest potential.

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