May 31 is World No Tobacco Day. An official international day recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), it is celebrated every year.
During this annual awareness day by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services in partnership with the World Health Organisation, people, organisations and governments unite to draw attention to the health problems that tobacco can cause. The theme for this year is “Tobacco and heart disease” to highlight the harmful effects of tobacco on cardiovascular health.
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MoHMS) embedded the Healthy Settings programme into its business plan in order to address the tobacco crisis and to protect public health. The Healthy Settings movement emerged in 1980, from the WHO strategy of Health for All. In 1986, the settings-based approach was clearly laid out in the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. These were important steps towards establishing Healthy Settings programmes, as well as towards the integration of health promotion and sustainable development.
The Ottawa Charter states: “Health is created and lived by people within the settings of their everyday life; where they learn, work, play, and love.” (1986). In Fiji, Public Health nurses from Makoi Health Centre worked hand-in-hand with Kalabu village to achieve tobacco-free community hall. It is one of the milestones achieved by the public health movement.
On Friday 25th of May more than 100 people gathered at Kalabu Community hall to support the project of Healthy Settings. This was achieved through the launch of Tobacco-Free zone in Kalabu Village in Nasinu.
Guest Speaker Dr Tukana, who works as a National Adviser for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) in Fiji, stressed that a healthy lifestyle is vital and that it is important to educate people on how to live a better lifestyle. With the ever-increasing rate of non-communicable diseases in Fiji, it matters now more than ever.