WHO training package assists in building capacity for tobacco dependence treatment

Article 14 of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) mandates treatment of tobacco use and dependence as a key component of comprehensive tobacco control strategy. Tobacco dependence treatment is also recommended by WHO as part of a comprehensive package of essential services for prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in primary care in accordance to the WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs (2013-2020).

Strengthening health systems for treating tobacco dependence in primary care,” launched by WHO last year, is a four-part training package that provides a technical resource to assist countries with integrating brief tobacco interventions into primary care services.

The content of the training package is based on guidelines for implementation of Article 14 of the WHO FCTC adopted by the WHO FCTC Conference of the Parties, the “Offer help to quit tobacco use” component of WHO’s MPOWER package, the WHO Health System Framework, and best available scientific evidence and best practices in the field of tobacco dependence treatment.

Parts I, II and III are designed for training policy-makers, primary care service managers and primary care providers. Part IV is aimed at meeting the needs of training the trainers.

Key training documents:

This training package was developed by the WHO Department of Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases (PND). Many experts from various institutions and agencies worldwide contributed towards its creation, and numerous people provided administrative support, text development, data collection and review. Dr. Dongbo Fu coordinated the production of the package under the direction of Armando Peruga and Douglas Bettcher.

Additionally, regional advisers for tobacco control and their teams assisted with developing and piloting the package. Interim versions of this package were piloted at workshops in the WHO African Region (Mauritius), the WHO Region of the Americas/Pan American Health Organization (Bahamas, Barbados, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago), the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (Iran and Jordan with participants from Egypt and Iraq), and the WHO Western Pacific Region (Malaysia and Philippines). The comments and suggestions provided by participants at these workshops were integrated and helped to refine and improve the content of this training package.

We believe the materials in this package will be a fundamental and important resource for providing comprehensive education to stakeholders involved in advancing tobacco dependence treatment, as required by the WHO FCTC Article 14.