The Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance (KETCA) chairperson, Mr. Joel Gitali, has dedicated his life to fighting tobacco use and addiction, especially among the youths. This year during World No Tobacco Day he was presented with the World Health Organization’s global award for his work in tobacco control.

Every year, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes individuals and organizations for their accomplishments in tobacco control in each of its six regions. The recognition takes the form of the WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award and World No Tobacco Day Awards.

This award made me feel energized. I give credit to members of the civil society organizations in Kenya, who’ve visited all corners of the country to fight tobacco use. I’m equally humbled by their overwhelming support for my nomination. I take this as a sign of teamwork and cooperation. Mr. Joel Gitali on Winning World No Tobacco Day 2022 Awards

Mr. Gitali came face to face with the devastating effects of tobacco among young people in 1996 while working as a guidance and counseling teacher. This was the commonest form of addiction among students during those days.

This prompted the KETCA chairman to start his tobacco control journey by volunteering at the Alliance. He immediately joined the team agitating for a national tobacco control law that was eventually passed by parliament in 2007.

Mr. Gitali was elected to chair the Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance in 2013, a position that he currently holds. Through his leadership, the Alliance has grown in leaps and bounds to be recognized and acclaimed internationally.

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