Speakers at a workshop called on physicians to play a significant role to make Bangladesh tobacco-free by raising awareness among people.
The use of tobacco products among people is increasing in the country despite various anti-tobacco measures at both public and private levels, the speakers said.
Physicians are treated with respect and they have a positive impact on society and can utilise their position and reputation in anti-tobacco campaigns, and advise people to quit smoking, they said, according to a press release.
The speakers came up with the remarks while addressing a consultation workshop with health professionals on the present situation of tobacco cessation challenges and the way forward. Bangladesh Blind Mission (BBM), an NGO working on health, education and disability issues, organised the event at Meghna Hall of BIAM Foundation at New Eskaton in the capital on Thursday.
The use of tobacco products creates a great risk to health, the public economy and the environment. Through raising awareness among people about the negative effects of tobacco products, doctors can play an important role in checking its use in the country, they observed.
Reminding doctors of their obligation to society, the speakers said, that doctors should make counselling to patients and their family members along with checking patients regularly. Doctors should highlight the benefits of quitting tobacco products and such campaigns should be held across the country, they added.
The event was arranged as part of involving doctors in an anti-tobacco campaign aimed at making the country tobacco-free by 2040.
Highlighting the importance of a tobacco-free country, they sought whole-hearted support from the physician community. Around 21 physicians in Dhaka took part in the workshop.
Prof Dr AHM Mustafizur Rahman, former vice chancellor of Jatiyo Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University in Mymensingh, attended the event as the chief guest, while Brigadier General (retd) Khondoker Mohammad Mozammel Haque, advisor of BBM, attended as a special guest.
BBM President Joel Ahmed gave a welcome address, while Umme Kausar Sumona and Faria Sultana of BBM jointly moderated it. Mohammad Shamsul Islam, epidemiologist of Ispahani Eye Hospital, presented a key-note paper on the present situation of tobacco cessation challenges and a way forward, and Dr Kaniz Afrin, deputy programme manager of the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (BADAS), presented another paper on sensitising health professionals regarding tobacco harm reduction.