By Mawet Kolnyin Agok

Despite the remarkable success of public health policy in reducing cigarette smoking in many countries, water pipe or shisha smoking has thrived in the wake of strict tobacco control policies and regulation that are mostly cigarette oriented.

For example water pipe v products in many developed countries are exempted from tobacco control policies and lack of laws enforcement for the relevant tobacco control policies. The main problem under developing countries like South Sudan has contributed to the proliferation of shisha/water pipe venues without considering the health risks involved.

The roles of public health professionals around the globe and particular South Sudan are to ensure the public safety.

Nevertheless public health is situated at the intersection of major social, political, economic and cultural forces in the society.

For example if the mission of public health workers is to create safe environments in which people can be healthy in order to pursuit this goal, there must be involvement of the debatable process of joining together public health science, politics  and activism in the context of social values and interest of entire society.

This mean that public health battles are often fought along political fronts as well as personal behavioral fronts.

We as public health professionals we work harder in order to improve public health which requires an explicit commitment to advocating for policy changes that support the development of health promotion and ensure absolute protection of the environments and health promoting systematic changes by influencing policy process toward ending the challenges facing general public.

Meanwhile there are many available aspects such as public health advocacy these share the common key elements including an emphasis on collective action to effect desired systematic   changes there must be a focus on changing the upstream factors such as laws, regulation and policies.

Public health advocacy is often defined as the process of gaining political commitment for particular goal or program by indentifying some critical and challenges facing the population health strategy.

Target audience tend to be decision makers, policy formulators, program managers and those that are in a position or in power capable to influence action against affects that may affect many people simultaneously simply know why smoking tobacco and Shisha is health threat or serious issue for non-Smokers?

The goal of public health department in a country is to reduce the societal burden of health problems.

Effective intervention must alter the societal forces that foster these problems. Ignoring the social and political dimension of health related issues has the effect of relegating public health practice to the prevention and promotion of individual risk factors such as smoking in public areas and smoking shisha more especially pregnant mothers and under age suffers.

While health practitioners offer nothing to challenge the act committed by people who knew nothing about problems smoking can cause to public.

Article 8 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control recognizes that exposure to tobacco smoke cause death, disease and disability therefore countries are asked to adopt and implement legislation that provide protection from second hand smoke.

Many countries around the world have already introduced laws to protect people from exposure to tobacco smoke risk in public places that is why day has been designated for celebration around the globe on World No Tobacco Day ( May 31) in order to encourage more people and more countries to put stop to smoking and establish free smoke country.

As public health professional I have joint the world trend by claiming our right to public places that are hundred percent smoke free inside or around me and other no smokers who are  citizens of South Sudan.

Effects of tobacco smoke, there are about 4000 known chemical in tobacco smoke at least 250 of them are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer in humans.

Tobacco smoke in enclosed space mostly breathing in by everyone exposes smokers and nonsmokers alike to its harmful effects.

Around 700 million children or almost half of the world total population  breath air polluted by tobacco smoke over 40 per cent of the children have at least one smoking parent according to 2004, reported by World Health organization (WHO), children accounted for 31 per cent of the 600,000 premature deaths attributable to second hand smoke and in adult second hand smoke cause serious Cardiovascular and Respiratory disease including Coronary Heart Disease which lead to cholesterol accumulates on the artery walls creating plaque the arteries narrow reducing blood flow to the heart.

Therefore entire world has done so much to make sure that today public health advocacy has been used to advance policies in several public health areas including gun control, injury prevention and more essentially the fight against tobacco control must be made as health promoting programmed categorizes advocacy activities as low medium and high profile.

Low profile activities could include quite negotiation, individual meetings with civil, sharing information and the development of non public briefs.

Medium profile activities include ongoing negotiation development of public briefs, feeding the opposition, giving deputation at committee participating in meetings with elected officials, forming strategic alliance with other group and writing letters to elected officials, public health workers participating in meeting with elected officials forming strategic alliance with other group and newspapers.

High profile activities include Public criticism, public advertising campaign health professionals are Freudenberg argues that public health advocates could benefit from increased theoretical competency particularly increase content knowledge in two vital areas.

Organizational and behavioral changes and communication as well as social movement theory, in related event the government of Canada public places restrictions on smoking

As far as public health policy and Advocacy is concern smoking in public places is a catastrophe and public health specialists term as great offend number one which should be viciously fought followed by Shisha winnable fight against it.

South Sudan Public health Policy and Advocacy (Turning Outrage into Action)
in South Sudan every day people do experience that they are frustrating unbelievable or so outrageous that they think how can this be?

There ought to be law enforcement agencies, which help public health workers. They (officers) often experience this frustration much in their day to day activities fighting with managed community health care services, facing inadequate medicare services and struggling with inadequate unsafe working conditions.

South Sudan State and National legislators are not making decisions that alleviate the prolong suffering of public health workers and public at large, often with very little knowledge or understanding of the public health issues and with little or input from public health.

As public health personnel we can’t afford to let this happen. Health policy advocacy with this sense of outrage about inadequately conceived laws policies and regulation or absence of a law when the need for one is demandable, we must positively contribute our authorities, health leadership and unique knowledge of public health to the legislative Assembly specifically  members of health specialist committee in national assembly.

Public health policy advocacy can be easy and it can make a great difference in the outcome of our nation in fight against free country from smoke policy decisions.

This application theory does not require any new skills, it is just involvement applying skills you already have such as public communication and building relationship with entire public out there to enforce the law accordingly particularly people you think can correctly lobby legislation to support public health experienced personal to relieve our people from premature deaths related to smoking causes.

South Sudan constitution grants us the right to tell our elected members our concerns and challenges facing their citizens in order to take action to address them more especially public smoking and use of shisha by pregnant mothers as per policymakers work for their citizens welfare.

South Sudanese have the right to hold them accountable for their actions, tell them what you want and what you want them to do and give feedback on how you think they are doing it as mandate and their job they were elected to do for the people of South Sudan.

After all those preventative messages the law shall enforce bans on tobacco advertising, tobacco promotion and sponsorship by raising high taxes on tobacco and shisha.

Wallack and Dorfman, public health policy and advocacy experts highlight the difference between using the media to address an information gap and suing the media to challenge a power gap against fight of shisha and tobacco.

In conclusion it is paradoxical that while public health policy and advocacy is considered by many to be a critical strategy for improving the health of the civil population of South Sudan, it is also largely ignored by the public health community.

This paradox speaking to the complexity of practicing public health advocacy in order to develop upstream approaches that require recognizing the individual and personal problems are often reflective on social condition and thus reason developing a social response.

It is one that goes far beyond an individual level approach to public health advocacy and is also a high skilled activity that requiring public health practitioners to acquaint himself or herself with public health theories of social changes, critical analysis, public health strategic framework and the ability of individual to collaborate with different set of stakeholders on complex emergencies for example National Legislative Assembly as policy makers in the country.

To criticize legislators we term it as official social reform and being champion of right to health for all citizens of South Sudan regardless of their status, rich or poor it doesn’t matter what matters is protection of non smokers out there.

The author of this article can be reached through his Email: Smawet2017@gmail.com


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