Global Bridges workshop on tobacco use and dependence treatment

Global Bridges (GB) Afro has previously sponsored a free one-day workshop at the Public Health Association of South Africa (PHASA) conferences since 2011. This year is no exception and offers an opportunity for GB to further broaden its reach in Africa as the 9th PHASA Conference will be held jointly with the African Federation of Public Health Associations (AFPHA).

It is known that tobacco use is a significant risk factor for several diseases (e.g. oral cancer, lung cancer, stroke, coronary heart disease, TB, asthma, etc.) and a leading cause of preventable deaths in the world. Currently, it is estimated that the use of tobacco causes more than 5 million deaths per year and projected that this will rise to over 8 million deaths annually by 2030. Seventy percent of these deaths will occur in developing countries.

Furthermore, about 25% of the TB mortality in Africa has been attributed to tobacco use, and thus threatens meeting related Millennium Development Goals (MGDs). Studies have shown that the majority of smokers want to stop, but find quitting very difficult. Support and brief advice from health care providers (HCPs) have been shown to increase quit attempts and improve chances of staying quit. However, HCPs often miss the opportunity to talk to their patients about the benefits of tobacco use cessation and many HCPs lack the required skills.

The GB workshop will address this gap by offering a well-coordinated and evidence-based training to HCPs as part of an effort to mobilize the global community of health care providers and organizations to make an impact on tobacco use through effective treatment and implementation of tobacco control policy

The conference will be held in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa, from 24 -27 September 2013 and the theme is “Africa’s Public Health Legacy-Beyond the MGDs”. The workshop, which will be held on 25th September 2013, will be facilitated by Prof. Olalekan A. Ayo-Yusuf (Head of Clinical Unit at the Oral & Dental Hospital, Associate Professor at the University of Pretoria and Regional Director of Global Bridges AFRO region). He will be joined by Prof. Scott J. Leischow (Senior Associate Consultant with the Department of Research and the Co-lead for Cancer Prevention and Control across the Mayo Clinic).

The target group includes health care providers (HCPs), policy makers, health managers and healthcare professionals in training. Also, welcomed are those providing health counselling, running a clinic, or have any other continuous interactions with tobacco users.

The workshop themes will include the following:

  1. Burden of tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases in sub-Saharan Africa
  2. History of tobacco control in Sub-Saharan Africa and the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Article 14: Advances and challenges
  3. Understanding nicotine pharmacology and nicotine dependence
  4. Evidence-base for pharmacotherapy and brief behavioural intervention approaches
  5. Introduction to Motivational Interviewing (MI) – Elements and core skills of MI
  6. Tailoring treatment for special populations (case studies)
  7. Implementation challenges and solutions for treatment delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa

A limited number of 60 participants can be accommodated for this workshop. Registration will be on a first come, first serve basis.