TOBACCO NOW THE TOP CAUSE OF PREVENTABLE DEATH IN KENYA

NAIROBI, Tobacco use is now the top cause of preventable death and one of the four biggest risk factors raising the burden of non communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country, says the Principal Secretary (Assistant Minister) for Health, Julius Korir.

More than half of hospital admissions in Kenya are related to NCDs and on average 80 per cent of premature deaths are related to the use of or exposure to tobacco, thus straining Kenya’s efforts to achieve its development goals, said Korir in a speech read out by the Senior Deputy Director of Medical Services, Dr. Patrick Amoth.

These diseases are not only burdening the health system but also resulting in high productivity costs to the economy,” said. Korir, who lamented that the tobacco epidemic cannot be ignored any more as tobacco threatens everyone through its health, social, economic and environmental consequences.

The 2015 STEPwise Survey for Non-communicable Diseases risk factors, revealed that 13 per cent of adults use tobacco products and one in five Kenyans are exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke at home.

The Global Youth Tobacco Survey of 2013 also showed that 10 per cent of Kenyan youth aged 13 to 15 years are regular consumers of tobacco products. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey of 2014 revealed that half of the current smokers have attempted to quit smoking in past 12 months.

This demonstrates a need to avail cessation services to Kenyans. Tobacco cessation interventions offered by the health care systems are more effective than individual based interventions, Korir noted.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK