The fight against tobacco use, saw the 4 (four) women’s committees of Faleasiu, Sapulu, Lealalii, Moamoa and Tauo’o coming together to stand as leaders of their respective communities and for families to learn more about the impact of tobacco use and how they can help support their families to quit.
The Women’s Committee programme started with a parade starting from Sapulu sub-village and concluded at Tauo’o, followed by a Zumba session. The Health Sector also conducts a practical session on the community based tobacco cessation.
According to the Faleasiu president of Tauo’o sub-village, “Many times we have heard about tobacco and the harm it can do to people we have just ignored it.”
“However, after being heavily involved in the PEN FaaSamoa Programme, early N.C.D. screenings, detection and community awareness programmes were carried out in the village of Faleasiu during its pilot programme in 2015.”
“We learnt from the results that were given to us by M.O.H., N.H.S.,W.H.O. that smoking was the number one preventable behavioural risk affecting our families, relatives and friends.
Then we started our own individual committee programmes focusing on the people of our sub-villages with the help of M.O.H. and the district hospital at Leulumoega.
“This time we have decided in order for us to provide the support to our people, we needed to learn and be empowered with the knowledge on how to provide quitting support and at the same time learn about the different practical approaches we can use as a group to help people stop smoking.”
We know it’s not going to be easy but we believe God will give us good thinking and strength to remind and support our families and friends, when they are ready to quit.
The Women’s Committee in Faleasiu programme is timely as Samoa joins the world in celebrating the World No Tobacco Day on Monday 30th May which will be guided by their theme “ Get ready for plain packaging”.
One participant at the Faleasiu village recited an emotional poem on the experience of being diagnosed with lung cancer because of exposure to second hand smoking from her dad.
It was indeed a wakeup call for many who participated.
What also stood out from yesterday’s session was the “Call for Action” to stand against tobacco use; which evidence has clearly demonstrated; has no benefits to people but only increases the burden of diseases.