The Consortium for Tobacco Free Karnataka (a group of individuals and organizations working towards tobacco free Karnataka) in collaboration with the state (Karnataka State Anti Tobacco Cell) and municipal (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike) governments organized events at the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute to commemorate the World No Tobacco Day (May 31, 2017).
The day witnessed various events including
- a rally to raise awareness on tobacco harms,
- launch of a video raising awareness on substance abuse,
- motivational speeches by senior leaders,
- a panel discussion and
- an orientation program for health inspectors of the Bengaluru municipal corporation.
Upendra Bhojani of the Institute of Public Health participated as a speaker in the panel discussion on how we could achieve tobacco free Bengaluru.
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Baltimore), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (Government of Nepal), The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union) and Action Nepal organized a South Asia Tobacco Control Leadership Program in Kathmandu from 7-13 May 2017. A weeklong program had participants from government and non-government agencies from all the SAARC countries. The program covered various aspects of tobacco control including building effective leadership.
Upendra Bhojani of Institute of Public Health (Bengaluru), who had undergone the Global Tobacco Control Leadership Program (2010), was invited as a resource person. He facilitated a session and participated in a panel discussion.
Under pressure from civil society, the Government of India is contemplating a legislation to deal with conflicts of interest. In 2013, a Private Member’s Bill on Prevention and Management of Conflicts of Interest was introduced in the upper house of Parliament, Rajya Sabha but lapsed without discussion.
Following this, the ‘Working Group on Conflict of Interest Legislation and Policies’ led by the Alliance Against Conflict of Interest (AACI) convened a national consultation in Delhi on the 13th September 2014. IPH staff member Dr. Neethi V Rao was invited to be a participant at that consultation based on her research on conflicts of interest in tobacco control in India. Subsequently she has continued to participate in the process of drafting and advocating for a new legislation on the Prevention and Management of Conflicts of Interest in India.
Few members from the tobacco control team participated in the 3rd National conference on tobacco or Health held at Mumbai on the 15th and 16th of December. We had three oral presentation and one poster presentation depicting the on going activities and learning from Karnataka. In the conference Upendra Bhojani presented the learning from success stories in states of India and also a poster on the health in all policies (HIAP) approach in tobacco control Neethi Rao presented the findings of an exploratory study on conflicts of interest in tobacco control in India Pragati Hebbar presented the insights of moving from policy to practice with examples of implementing tobacco control law in Karnataka.
There have been some recent newspaper reports that networks of private hospital owners have threatened to stop providing services to patients if the government of Karnataka expands the Vajpayee Arogyashree Scheme (VAS) from the poor to the rest of the population. We look at the reasons for this reaction. To read more – click here