World No Tobacco Day 2021 Awards: Madhya Pradesh Voluntary Health Association wins prestigious WHO prize

Amid the lockdown and surge in COVID-19 cases, Madhya Pradesh Voluntary Health Association (MPHVA) was given the prestigious World No Tobacco Day Award by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

This big announcement was made on Monday, 24 May.

According to a press release from WHO, MPVHA won the award in the South East Asia Region category for its efforts in tobacco prevention and control.

WHO annually organises this event to acknowledge individuals or organisations in each of the six selected regions for their activities in the area of tobacco control.

Sharing light on the association’s work, the executive director of MPVHA Mukesh Kumar Sinha said that they are working towards the national tobacco control program for the last two decades in Madhya Pradesh.

“Global Adult Tobacco Survey data of the state says that the overall consumption of tobacco reduced from 40 percent in 2009 to 34 percent in 2016 and smoking at public places reduced from 40 percent in 2009 to 24 percent in 2016,” Sinha said.

Further giving an update on the various health projects, he asserted that they are currently working with the State Tobacco Control Cell for the implementation of the National Tobacco Control Programme in the state. Few measures have been introduced in the state to protect the teens, women, and poor section of people from the tobacco menace, he explained.

MPVHA is the first civil society organisation in India that has received this prestigious award.

Finally talking about the award, Sinha informed that WHO director-general's special award had been conferred on Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare. Uttar Pradesh’s State Tobacco Control Cell, also won the World No Tobacco Day Award this year.