Dr Sinha gets WHO award
Patna, July 4 : Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at SK Medical College Dhirendra Narayan Sinha alongwith three others have been conferred with the World No Tobacco Day Award by the World Health Organisation.
An eminent advocate of global tobacco control and researcher, Dr Sinha has collected information on various forms of tobacco used in the region - particularly on smokeless tobacco use and bidi consumption, a WHO release said.
Lauding the findings of Dr Sinha, WHO said the sincere efforts of Dr Sinha has forced manufacturers of dentifrice used in India to remove tobacco from its products.
All the four recipients of the award belong to South East Asian Region(SEAR), informed Dr Sinha, adding that of the 4.9 million deaths from tobacco, countries in the SEAR account for 1.2 million deaths. ''This region suffers from double burden of the tobacco epidemic as it is both a large producer and consumer of tobacco,'' he said.
According to Dr Sinha, because of low level of awareness about its ill effects, weak infrastructure of tobacco control and the wide variety of products available in the region, the regulation of its products has become increasingly difficult in the region.
He said like other consumer goods, it was vital for the tobacco products to develop comprehensive regulation covering product ingredients and emissions, their likely harmful impacts, details of manufacture, communications and marketing.
Meanwhile, Bihar Health Minister Chandramohan Rai commended the efforts of Dr Sinha, saying, ''it is his sincerity and dedication for social cause that brought fame for him and the state as well.'' He said the department might give promotion and other facilities to such doctors, who have contributed for the cause of the society.
Other recipients of the award include Dr Rohini Premkumari, Professor of Radiation Oncology Cancer Institute at Adiyar in Chennai, President of Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance (BATA) Safuddin Ahmad and Her Royal Highness Somsawaree Phraworachaya Thinaddamat, Honorary President, National Tobacco Consumption Control Committee, Ministry of Public Health of Thailand.
Dr Rohini, one of the pioneers in the area of tobacco control in the country, has successfully led anti-tobacco advocacy with the masses, particularly the youth, the WHO release said. She has also called upon film celebrities to lend their support to the anti-tobacco campaign.
Mr Ahmad, who was instrumental in developing tobacco control legislation in Bangladesh, is known for his success in ''stopping'' a multi-national company's promotional ship 'Voyage of Discovery' from achieving its mission to attract the youth towards tobacco.
Ms Thinaddamat, who led the anti-tobacco campaign by not smoking herself, has instituted non-smoking royal residences in Thailand.
She has also provided guidance to the medical staff on ways for successful anti-tobacco advocacy, including campaigns, targeted at youth and women, the release added.
Meanwhile, WHO Regional director for SEAR Dr Samlee Pilanbangchang said in the release that though the nations were getting tough towards tobacco companies, its manufacturers were adopting different tactics to make their products look more attractive and safer.
He said WHO and the ministries of health of different nations should inform people, organisations and the policymakers about such products, their forms and disguises and effect of all forms of tobacco in order to make the tobacco control programme more effective.
He appealed the countries and governments to enact stronger and wider regulation of tobacco products.