The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given a $7 million grant over five years to the American Cancer Society to lead and coordinate the African Tobacco Control Consortium, a global coalition of public health-oriented organizations focusing on using evidence-based approaches to stem the tobacco epidemic in Africa. In addition to the American Cancer Society, the consortium includes the Africa Tobacco Control Regional Initiative (ATCRI), Africa Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA), Framework Convention Alliance (FCA), Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union).
In a part of the world that is notably affected by HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other infectious diseases, Africa is seeing cancer emerge as a serious public health threat. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, much of the rise can be attributed to widespread tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the world, and according to the World Health Organization, if current trends continue, tobacco use will cause one billion deaths worldwide during this century.
As the managing organization of the coalition, the American Cancer Society will collaborate with consortium partners to implement an ambitious tobacco control program across the 46 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The overall goal will be to reduce tobacco use in these countries by implementing proven strategies at the national and local level.
Click on the following link to read a press release on the new grant and coalition.