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Which way on tobacco; wealth or health?



There is a big fight going on in Tanzania just like anywhere in the world. The winning card is within ourselves. Tobacco is the center of the battle field. One side is battling on profit-making while killing and the other is trying to stop it – is very much against the norm of “allow us to poison you and we will give you jobs.” SIMON MKINA is asking – creating jobs for corpses? Reads on.

Tanzania is the second largest producer of tobacco after Malawi in Africa and stands at eighth rank in the world.

Currently, in Tanzania there are three cigarette manufacturing companies; which are Tanzania Cigarette – owned by Japanese, Master Mind – owned by local and one owned by world giant Philip Morris Tanzania.

Apart from these, there is little manufacturing of processed tobacco into cigarettes and other products in Tanzania since the domestic market consume about 5 percent of tobacco produced locally.

Studies from The Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) shows that the country is losing more than 61,000 hectares of forestry from tobacco related activities each year. And 12.389 cubic meters of trees are felled in Tabora region alone due to the same doings.

These tobacco manufacturing companies all together will be producing 5 billion cigarettes per year, stating this year. This means the world should expect more negative impacts on the production, distribution and usage of the killer fumes.

Deputy Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr. Faustine Ndugulile said nearly 14.7% of the population is smoking tobacco products while 9% are youth Tanzanians.

Dr. Ndugulile said study shows that 17.5% people in households who don’t actively smoke tobacco, are exposed to the substance by other smokers. And, 24.9 percent are exposed to the tobacco smoke in workplaces.

Tobacco usage in Tanzania is contributing to death of nearly 200,000 yearly and the number is expected to rise as there is another cigarettes company coming on board.

Even though fewer men die from tobacco in Tanzania than on average in low-HDI countries, tobacco still kills 244 men and 86 women every week.

Numbers show that more than 12,600 boys and 5,000 girls who smoke cigarettes each day, contributing to an ongoing and dire public health threat.

Data obtained from the Tanzania cancer hospital – Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) and Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) shows that 32 per cent of the cancer cases reporting to these institutions are linked to smoking tobacco.

Unfortunately, every year researchers find more and more evidence that smoking, and other tobacco products in general, are harming the lives of our people, our governments (and that of Zanzibar) are not listening, they keep on allowing more and more killer industries in the name of boosting economy.

Numbing facts proves that smoking and any usage of tobacco kills more people that road, water and air transports do.

Each year – in the world, 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are disposed off. A generous estimate is that half of them end up in landfills – the other half ends up in soil, lakes, oceans, and forests. Cigarette butts are theoretically biodegradable (they are made of cellulose acetate) but it takes them just under 2 years to completely vanish – and that is under perfect conditions.

           Tonnes of cigarette butts are disposed off in soil, lakes, oceans, and forests each year


Apart from that, 600 million trees are chopped down every year by the tobacco industry. Keep in mind that for every 15 packs of cigarettes a smoker smokes, one tree had to die.

Scientists in Tanzania are saying tobacco industry in Tanzania produces 1.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in one year – although global tobacco production quadruples that amount. For comparison, one car produces 4 million times less. Shutting down the tobacco industry equates to taking 3 million cars off the streets every single year.

Tobacco manufacturers use four miles of paper every hour to wrap and package cigarettes and other products – making the entire industry a sizeable contributor to deforestation although it already is one to begin with.

In this juncture, human health impacts of tobacco use are well-documented. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there will be more than 10 million tobacco-related deaths a year by 2030, amounting to 10% of annual deaths worldwide.

The tobacco industry is active in promoting the alleged positive aspects of tobacco farming and in “protecting” farmers from what they portray as unfair tobacco control regulations that reduce demand.

Tobacco farming has many negative consequences for the health and wellbeing of farmers, as well as for the environment and some living organism.

With all these evident negative impacts of tobacco products to environment and health of our people, tobacco business remains with a conflicting interests; from the public health against wealth.

On economic side, governments and tobacco business players are propagating messages that tobacco has created millions of jobs across the world, pouring resources into national coffers and generally, contributing to respective countries’ gross domestic product.

In Tanzania, it is estimated tobacco products generates USD 150 million each year in the national income, while it is not clear how much our governments spend on treating patients with tuberculosis, hypertension, lungs and other respiratory diseases. It should be more.

Apart from that, tobacco products cause different types of cancerous diseases and it has come to light that more than half of tobacco users die early compared to non-users.


In 2005, Tanzania has endorsed the WHO-FCTC, which is an international and binding legal treaty that obliges the 181 member countries not to provide any incentives to tobacco companies such as tax exemptions, and the treaty commits governments to assist tobacco farmers in diversifying their cash-paying crops.

But Tanzania is still lagging behind when it comes to active exposing campaign to stop tobacco. In major town, there a lot of “street boys” selling cigarettes without fearing law enforcers or anybody.

This selling of tobacco products everywhere and to anybody, hinders Tanzania slow campaign in curbing tobacco use.

It should be understood that the product doesn’t damage just health, but also economies.

“Tobacco is a barrier to sustainable development on all fronts. Now is the time for leaders to implement strong policies proven to protect their citizens from tobacco,” said WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus while addressing The World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Cape Town, South Africa in March, this year.

It is now high time for Tanzania governments to stop entertaining tobacco industries. They are openly killing our people in the name of bringing wealth. Shame.

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Watumishi wa afya 200 kupatiwa mafunzo ya utoaji dawa ya usingizi kuokoa maisha wajawazito



Kufuatia upungufu wa wataalamu wa dawa za usingizi (anaesthesia), serikali itatoa mafunzo ya dawa za usingizi kwa watumishi wa afya 200 katika vituo vya afya vya upasuaji wa dharura kwa akina mama wajawazito.

Hatua hiyo inakuja ikiwa imepita miezi 6 baada ya Chuo Kikuu cha Afya na Sayansi Shirikishi Muhimbili (MUHAS) kutangaza kuanza kutoa shahada ya dawa ya usingizi (Bsc. Anaesthesia Nursing).

Katika taarifa iliyotolewa na Kitengo cha Mawasiliano serikalini cha Wizara ya Afya, Maendeleo ya Jamii, Jinsia, Wazee na Watoto, inaeleza kuwa mafunzo hayo yatatolewa sambamba na uboreshaji wa huduma ya upasuaji wa dharura kwa wajawazito ili kuokoa maisha ya wanawake na watoto ambao hufariki kwa kosa huduma muhimu za uzazi kwenye vituo vya afya.

“Mkakati wa kuhakikisha huduma za afya kwa akina mama wajawazito zinakuwa salama na uhakika kwa kuandaa rasilimali watu, miundombinu ya majengo na vifaa vitakavyowezesha huduma hizi ikiwemo upasuaji wa dharura kwa akina mama wajawazito wakati wa kujifungua,” imeeleza taarifa hiyo.

Kwa mujibu wa takwimu za Wizara ya Afya, vifo 556 vitokanavyo na uzazi kwa kila viumbe hai 100,000 huripotiwa kila mwaka katika maeneo mbalimbali nchini. Maana yake ni kwamba watoto na wajawazito hufariki hasa wakati wa mama akijifungua.

Aidha, serikali itaboresha vituo vya afya 288 vya serikali vilivyopo nchini ili kuviwezesha kutoa huduma ya dharura ya upasuaji kwa wajawazito ambapo waaguzi katika vituo hivyo watapatiwa mafunzo ya dawa za usingizi ili kuokoa maisha ya akina mama na watoto wachanga.

Utekelezaji wa mafunzo hayo ni matokeo ya ushirikiano wa Wizara ya Afya na Mfuko wa Pamoja wa Afya ambapo zaidi ya sh1,079 bilioni zimepatikana kufakisha mafunzo hayo ya dawa ya usingizi kwa wauguzi na matabibu waliopo kwenye vtuo vya afya nchini.

“Fedha hizo zitasomesha watumishi wapatao 200, kati ya watumishi hao 100 watapata mafunzo yao katika Hospitali ya Taifa Muhimbili na MOI, watumishi 50 watafanya mafunzo katika hospitali ya KCMC, na 50 watafanya mafunzo hayo kwenye hospitali ya Bugando,” imefafanua taarifa ya wizara.

Lengo la serikali ni kuhakikisha ifikapo 2019 na kabla ya 2020 vituo vyote vya afya vinavyomilikiwa na serikali vinakuwa na watumishi maalum wa kutoa huduma ya dawa ya usingizi kwaajili ya wapasuaji wasiopungua wawili kwa kila kituo.

Mafunzo hayo ya mwaka mmoja ni mpito wakati serikali ikiendelea kukamilisha taratibu za kurasimisha utoaji wa shahada ya kwanza ya kutoa dawa ya usingizi katika Chuo cha MUHAS katka mwaka huu wa 2018/2019.

Hali halisi ya huduma ya dawa za usingizi nchini
Takwimu za wizara ya Afya zinaonyesha kuwa kuna upungufu mkubwa wa madaktari wenye utaalamu wa kutoa dawa ya usingizi hasa wakati wa huduma ya upasuaji ambapo kwa sasa waliopo ni asilimia 1.2 tu ya mahitaji yote.

Ili kuweza kukidhi mahitaji yote ya huduma hiyo wanahitajika madaktari 2000, lakini waliopo sasa ni madaktari 30 pekee.

Kufuatia changamoto hiyo Januari 31, mwaka huu wadau mbalimbali wa afya na elimu walikutana na kujadili namna ya kuondoa changamoto hiyo na kupendekeza mtaala utakaotumika kufundishia kozi ya Aesthesia kabla ya kuupeleka kwa Tume ya Vyuo Vikuu Nchini (TCU).

” Ni kweli kumekuwepo kwa changamoto hiyo ya watalaamu wa dawa hizo lakini sasa mpango huu ukikamilika maana yake tutaongeza idadi ya madaktari kamili maana hawa waliopo wengi ni wale ambao wamesoma kozi kwa mwaka mmoja au miwili.

” Mafunzo yakianza kutolewa hapa chuoni Muhimbili wataweza kuchukua wanafunzi 200, Bugando 50 na KCMC 50 jambo ambalo litaongeza idadi kubwa ya watalaamu ili kuweza kufikia lengo letu la kuwa na wataalamu 2000 nchi nzima,” alinukuliwa Katibu Mkuu wa Wizara ya Afya, Jinsia, Wazee na Watoto, Dk Mpoki Ulisubisya.

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Vyakula hivi vitakulinda dhidi ya athari za kiafya za uchafuzi wa hewa



Tunaishi katika ulimwengu unaokabiliwa na athari kubwa za mabadiliko ya hali ya hewa. Moja ya athari hizo ni kuongezeka kwa joto na kupungua kwa mvua katika maeneo mbalimbali. Athari hizi zinagusa moja kwa moja afya ya binadamu.

Ripoti ya mabadiliko ya hali ya hewa ya mwaka 2017 imeonesha kuwa kuongezeka kwa joto kunaathiri afya ya binadamu kwa kiasi kikubwa. Ripoti hiyo inatoka kundi la vyuo mbalimbali na mashirika tofauti ya Umoja wa Mataifa inasema watu wengi wanaathirika na joto pamoja na mlo hafifu sambamba na kusambaa kwa magonjwa.

Moja ya kisababishi cha mabadiliko ya hali ya hewa ni uchafuzi wa anga. Uchafuzi wa anga ni kuchanganyika kwa hewa asili katika anga na vitu kama vile moshi, majivu, gesi za kemikali katika hali na kiwango ambacho huathiri sifa ya hewa na kusababisha madhara kwa binadamu na viumbe vingine.

Baadhi ya vitu na vitendo huathiri vibaya anga letu. Baadhi ya vitu hivyo ni kama gesi na moshi unaotoka kwenye viwanda, moshi kutoka kwenye magari, marashi, dawa ya kuuwa wadudu shambani na kadhalika.

Lakini umewahi kujiuliza kuwa aina ya chakula unachokula kinaweza kukusaidia kukabiliana na athari za kiafya zinazotokana na uchafuzi wa hewa?

Wanasayansi katika utafiti wao uliotolewa hivi karibuni, wanaeleza ulaji wa chakula cha Mediterania ( Mediterranean diet) chenye matunda mengi, mbogamboga, nafaka isiyokobolewa, samaki, maharage jamii ya soya, mafuta ya mizeituni na mayai yanaweza kuwalinda watu dhidi ya athari za afya zinazotokana na uchafuzi wa hewa.

Wanasayansi hao kutoka Shule kuu ya Udaktari ya NYU ya Marekani, walichambua data za watu takribani 550,000 wenye wastani wa umri wa miaka 62 kwa miaka zaidi ya 17 ambapo waliwapanga watu hao kwenye makundi kulingana na ulaji wao unaoendana na chakula cha Mediterania na kulinganisha na muda waliokaa kwenye hewa iliyochafuliwa.

Walibaini kuwa watu ambao walizingatia kula vyakula vilivyotajwa hapo juu walikuwa na uwezekano mkubwa wa kuepuka magonjwa na vifo vinavyotokana na uchafuzi wa hali ya hewa. Magonjwa hayo ni yale ya mfumo wa upumuaji, moyo na kansa.

                                   Vyakula  jamii ya Mediterania

Vyakula hivyo jamii ya Mediterania vina uwezo mkubwa wa kukabiliana na vimelea vya maambukizi ya magonjwa kwa mtu ambaye atazingatia kwa usahihi kutumia katika maisha yake.

Uchafuzi wa hewa unasababisha athari mbaya za kiafya kupitia hewa ukaa na mlo wa Mediterania una virutubisho muhimu kupambana na vimelea vya magonjwa,” anasema Mwandishi Mtafiti wa utafiti huo, Chris Lim wa Chuo cha NYU.

Lim anasema vyakula vya aina nyingine vinaweza kusaidia kukabiliana na athari hiyo. “Nilipoangalia kila mchanganyiko wa chakula cha Mediterania, kina matunda, mbogamboga na mafuta yanayoweza kupambana na athari za hewa chafu,” anasema.

Utafiti kuhusu ulaji kama unaweza kuzuia athari za kiafya za uchafuzi wa hewa bado haujahakikiwa na kukubalika kisayansi. Lakini utafiti huo sio wa kwanza kutafuta uhusiano wa mlo na athari za kiafya za uchafuzi wa hali ya hewa.

Wakala wa Uhifadhi wa Mazingira wa Marekani (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)) unatafiti kama mlo unaweza kumlinda mtu dhidi ya athari za uchafuzi wa mazingira. Pia wanatafiti ili kujiridhisha kama virutubisho hivyo vinaweza kutumika badala ya dawa za kitabibu na kwa kiasi gani mtu anatakiwa apate virutubisho hivyo kumhakikishia usalama dhidi ya uchafuzi huo.

Hata hivyo, bado watu wanashauriwa kutumia zaidi matunda na mbogamboga kwenye milo yao ya kila siku ili kupata faida mbalimbali za kiafya.

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Ulaji mbaya wa chakula watajwa kusababisha kansa ya matiti kwa wanawake



Thamani ya maisha haiko kwenye muonekano wa mtu na vitu vinavyomzunguka bali kwenye chakula anachokula kila siku ili kuwa na afya njema. Lakini umewahi kujiuliza, chakula kinawezaje kupunguza uwezekano wa kufa kutokana na magonjwa ikiwemo kansa?

Utafiti mpya uliofanyika huko Marekani umebaini kuwa kwa sehemu mlo kamili unaweza kupunguza hatari ya kufa kwa kansa.

Mtafiti Dk. Rowan Chlebowski wa Kituo cha Taifa cha Uuguzi cha City of Hope na wenzake walichambua takwimu za wanawake 48,000 waliosajiliwa katika mpango wa Afya ya Mwanamke unaoratibiwa katika vituo 40 nchini Marekani.

Awali wanawake wote walipata vipimo na hakuna aliyegundulika kuwa na kansa ya matiti lakini 20,000 kati yao walishauriwa kubadilisha mlo na kupunguza ulaji wa mafuta kwa asilimia 20 katika milo yao ya kila siku.

Pia waliambiwa wale zaidi matunda, mbogamboga na nafaka zisizokobolewa. Wanawake wengine hawakupewa maelekezo yoyote ya kuzingatia mlo kamili lakini walifundishwa kuhusu lishe nzuri na mlo wenye afya.

Baada ya miaka nane ya kuwafuatilia wanawake hao, watafiti hao waliangalia idadi ya kansa ambazo wanawake hao walitibiwa na zile ambazo zilisababisha vifo. Walibaini kuwa wanawake ambao walitumia kiasi kidogo cha mafuta walikuwa na hatari ndogo ya kufa kwa kansa ya matiti kwa asilimia 22, ukilinganisha na wanawake wengine.

Pia wanawake hao walipunguza kwa asilimia 24 hatari ya kufa kwa kansa zingine ikiwemo kwa 38%  magonjwa ya moyo ikilinganishwa na wanawake wa kundi ambalo walipata elimu ya mlo.

“Tunachokiona ni matokeo halisi,” anasema Dk. Chlebowski. Tafiti za awali ziliangalia madhara kabla ya uchunguzi wa kansa, lakini utafiti huu ulichambua kwa kiasi gani mlo unaweza kumuathiri mtu baada ya uchunguzi.

“Tulichobaini ni kuwa ushauri wa mlo baada ya uchunguzi wa kansa ya matiti ulikuwa muhimu kuliko kabla ya uchunguzi.”

                        Ulaji wa matunda na mboga unasaidia kupunguza hatari ya kupata kansa

Hata hivyo, utafiti huo ulibaini kuwa wanawake ambao wanazingatia kutumia kiasi kidogo cha mafuta katika maisha yao wana nafasi kubwa ya kuepuka kansa ya matiti.

Kutokana na idadi ya watu walioshirikishwa kwenye utafiti huo, Dkt. Chlebowski anasema wazo la kuhusisha mlo katika programu ya matibabu lilikuwa ni muhimu ili kupata matokeo chanya katika kukabiliana na kansa ya matiti kwa wanawake.

Watafiti hao wanaendelea na uchunguzi ili kufahamu kama ulaji wa chakula unaweza kuwa sehemu ya matibabu ya kansa ya matiti. “Inahamasisha kwasababu tunajaribu kuziba pengo kati ya mtindo wa maisha na mchakato wa kibaiolojia uliopo nyuma ya ugonjwa huo.”


Kansa ya matiti

Saratani ya matiti ni ugonjwa ambao huwapata wanawake na unatokana na athari za chembe ndogo ama seli kwenye matiti na matokeo yake ni kwamba hubadili mfumo wa kawaida wa kukua na kuongezeka.

Mabadiliko haya huanza polepole na yanaweza yakachukua muda mrefu hadi mtu kuweza kujua kama ana matatizo hayo. Ikiwa katika hatua hizo za mwanzo kwa kawaida huwa hakuna maumivu jambo hilo ni moja ya mambo ambayo huchangia baadhi ya wagonjwa kubaini tatizo hilo wakati tayari limekomaa.

Ni kutokana na sababu hizo, wanawake hutakiwa kuchunguza afya zao mara kwa mara kwasababu ugonjwa huweza kutibiwa kirahisi iwapo utabainika mapema.

Miongoni mwa dalili za saratani ya matiti ni uvimbe kwenye matiti ama makwapani. Titi kubadilika kiumbo, titi kutoa majimaji yaliyochanganyika na damu ama chuchu kuingia ndani.

Zipo aina mbalimbali za tiba na mojawapo ni upasuaji. Upasuaji huu kwa kawaida hufanywa katika hatua za mwanzo. Njia nyingine ni tiba ya mionzi au kupewa dawa. Jambo la kukumbukwa ni kwamba ugonjwa huu unaweza kusababisha kifo iwapo hautabainika mapema na kupatiwa tiba mwafaka.

Njia ambayo mtu aweza kujilinda asiathirike na saratani hii ya matiti ni kujichunguza mara kwa mara ili kubaini mapema na kupatiwa dawa.

Mwanamke anapaswa kuchunguzwa mara moja kwa mwaka ili kuona kama ameathirika na ugonjwa huo au la.

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Muhimu Kusoma

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