Worried by the negative effects of smoking on the heath of Nigerians, doctors, under the umbrella of Epidemiological Society of Nigeria (EPISON) have called for an absolute ban on tobacco adverts and sponsorship of sports.
In a communiqué issued at the end its 6th annual scientific conference and general meeting held recently in Abuja, EPISON observed that high rate of tobacco use, alcohol consumption, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, especially among the youths, is worsening the landscape for non-communicable diseases.
The conference also called for proper funding and strengthening of the National Biosafety Management Agency to enable it monitor all activities related to the GMO technology in Nigeria, to forestall unintended adverse consequences.
The communiqué, which was signed by both the chairman and secretary of the society, Prof. A.I Zoakah and Dr. Matthew Ashikeni respectively, urges government to adequately fund research to address the health challenges in the epidemiological transition.
The society also charged the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, increase budgetary allocation to the health sector to meet the 15% Abuja Declaration of 2001 and ensure timely and complete release of budgeted funds.
“We urge all tiers of government to strengthen the surveillance system through provision of infrastructure and continuous training of the manpower who work in the surveillance system.