March 23, 2020
Authors: Norwegian Cancer Society
Framework Convention Alliance
A Collaborative Project with Framework Convention Alliance
Many low- and middle-income countries are yet to include accelerated implementation of the global tobacco control treaty, the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), in their overall national development agenda.
Even when the FCTC has been included in a development agenda, its implementation remains the exclusive domain of Ministries and Departments of Health, with little or no budget allocations.
The benefits of tobacco control programmes are not pushed to the forefront during national budget debates and FCTC implementation is therefore underfunded; despite the relatively low cost of implementing population-level tobacco control interventions, the economic savings and the significant health benefits.
In sub-Saharan Africa, Norwegian Cancer Society (NCS) and Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) have responded to the challenge that Parties to the FCTC face in translating their commitments into action at the national level.
With the generous funding support of NCS, FCA has for some time worked in several countries to support ongoing initiatives aimed at integrating tobacco control into national development plans and securing tobacco tax increases.
In Chad for example, project partner – Association pour la défense des droits des consommateurs successfully advocated for a tobacco tax levy in the 2019 national budget and an increase in excise duties starting from January 1, 2020.
In Nigeria, project partner – Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance worked closely with high level government officials to raise awareness about the Nigerian Tobacco Control Act and tobacco taxation, and help establish the National Tobacco Control Fund in 2019.
In Ghana, project partner – Vision for Alternative Development mobilised civil society, senior government officials, United Nations (UN) agencies, medical associations, health institutions and others, to prioritise FCTC implementation for noncommunicable diseases control and prevention efforts; helping draft Ghana’s official statement at the third UN High-level Meeting on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases.
Collectively, NCS, FCA and all project partners will help build support for the recognition of FCTC implementation as a priority measure for the Sustainable Development Goals.