First Tobacco Cessation Clinic opens at Industry Health Centre

 – Programme to be rolled out at 10 other health centres

Recognising that smoking is one of the many risk factors for chronic non-communicable diseases, the Ministry of Health on Wednesday opened its first Tobacco Cessation Clinic, at the Industry Health Centre.

The clinic is designed to help patients break the habit of smoking tobacco through individual counselling and drug therapy with the support of caring professionals. It will soon be rolled out in ten other health centres across the country, signalling the government’s dedication to eradicating chronic non-communicable diseases.

At the launching ceremony held in observance of World No Tobacco Day, Minister, Dr Frank Anthony explained that in Guyana cardiovascular diseases and hypertension are two of the main causes of deaths.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony at the launching of the Tobacco Cessation Clinic at the Industry Health Centre, East Coast Demerara

“Smoking is one of the many risk factors that contribute to people getting some of these things and we have been working very hard to try to get people to understand these risks.

“However, when we raise awareness, many persons would tell you that on their own, they’re having challenges trying to quit. So, that’s why these clinics are so important because if they need that extra help, then the clinic will be there for them,”
Minister Anthony pointed out.

Healthcare workers will receive training in cessation before the programme is rolled out in the other health centres.

Minister Anthony explained that this forms part of a holistic programme that is being executed by the ministry, through the Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases Department, to reduce the illnesses associated with these types of diseases.

The health ministry in collaboration with PAHO launched the ‘Hearts technical package,’ which will provide effective and practical interventions to strengthen the management of non-communicable diseases in primary healthcare systems.

Medical professionals who attended the launching of the cessation clinic

Additionally, healthcare workers must aid persons in adopting healthy lifestyle practices such as decreasing the intake of sugar and salt.

“Food is extremely important and the habits that people develop, those harmful habits we need to help them reduce, and smoking obviously is one of those. Exercising is another thing that we got to get people to do,” Dr Anthony expressed.

This year’s World No Tobacco Day is being observed under the theme: ‘Grow food, not tobacco.’