Health promotion project: Tobacco Prevention

In collaboration with Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, MHI has been undertaking a health promotion project in Timor-Leste since 2014, focussing primarily on tobacco prevention.  Tobacco use is a significant and preventable cause of health problems in Timor which has the world’s highest rates of male smoking.  As yet there have been few efforts to curtail smoking in Timor-Leste.  MHI is aware that cultural programs can contribute to efforts to prevent health compromising behaviours such as tobacco use.  MHI, in collaboration with Deakin University, Melbourne Australia have created a position for a Health Promotion Officer to work on preventing the use of tobacco in Timor-Leste. The officer, Thomas Lopes, is developing skills in tobacco use prevention, developing  a strategic tobacco use prevention project and completing evaluation and further planning. Thomas began his role with training visits to Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, where he studied academic English and health promotion.  Read about his visit in Friends of Vicqueque newsletter and Geelong Advertiser in May 2014. Thomas continues to receive strategic advice and direction from expert collaborators at Deakin University, particularly Professor John Toumbourou.

2014 Public Forum: A major activity was a public forum held in November 2014, that involved representatives from Many Hands, Deakin University, WHO, the Health Department and many participants from various civil society organisations in Timor.  Participants dicussed strategies to promote tobacco prevention and enthusiastically agreed to establish a National Alliance for Tobacco Prevention. Read the report of the event and presentations: Supporting efforts to prevent tobacco use in Timor-Leste Professor John Toumbourou, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia and Strategy Plan for Tobacco Control, Dr. Herculano Seixas dos Santos, Chefe Departemento de Controlo de Doencas Nao Contagiosas e Mentais, Timor-Leste. 

2015 presentation Timor Leste Studies Association Conference: Atitude Uja Tabaku Estratejia Prevensaun iha Timor Leste. MHI staff member Nelinha Periera made this presentation to the TLSA Conference in Dili in July on behlaf of Thomas who was in India at a WHO meeting.

2015: WHO SEARO meeting, Delhi: MHI staff member Thomas Lopes represents Timor-Leste at this meeting on strengthening Non-Communicable Disease Prevention by Civil Society Organisations, WHO South-East Asia,  New Delhi, 9-10 July 2015. Report here 

Follow the National Alliance for Tobacco Prevention on Facebook here

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