Tobacco and heart disease.







Tobacco and heart disease

Nairobi, KENYA May 31, 2018 – Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Sicily Kariuki has expressed the need to explore possibilities of aligning the tobacco taxation structure in Kenya with the World Health Organization’s recommendation of taxing tobacco products at 75% of the Retail Sale Price (RSP).

In her speech read on her behalf by the Director of Medical Services, Dr. Jackson Kioko during the World No Tobacco Day celebrations in Nairobi today, the CS said the alignment of the tax structure will not only discourage tobacco use but also raise revenue to finance health interventions and UHC.

This year’s theme is “Tobacco and heart disease”, and coincided with the launching of the Kenya National Guidelines for Cardiovascular Disease Management.

She noted that while tobacco use has been identified as one of the leading preventable causes of death, it is one of the leading contributors of the rising burden of NCDs in Kenya, which are not only a public health concern but are also inflicting significant productivity losses to the country.

Up to 50% of all hospital admissions and over 55% of all hospital deaths in Kenya are attributable to NCDs.

The CS observed that the achievement of UHC is contingent on the collective ability to affordably prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases as well as other NCDs by ensuring that tobacco use as well as other risk factors are controlled and mitigated against.

“The Ministry of Health continues to provide leadership and policy direction in the fight against cardiovascular diseases and the guidelines we are launching today are a testament of the Ministry’s role. You will note that the guidelines put forward innovative and evidence-based approaches towards bridging gaps in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases,’’ she noted.

The guidelines will offer guidance in prevention and screening as well as a standardized approach to the management of cardiovascular diseases.

She said the Government has already taken action to combat tobacco use by introducing controls on new and emerging tobacco products as well as working towards the ratification of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.