The World Health Organization (WHO) held an award ceremony for its World No Tobacco Day 2018, titled "Tobacco and cardiovascular disease".
Award winner for the Eastern Mediterranean region is the President of the American University of Beirut (AUB) Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri. Starting at 6 pm, the ceremony was held on Tuesday October 30 2018 at Villa Sursock, with addresses by WHO Representative to Lebanon Dr. Iman Shankiti and the awardee Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri.
In addition to Khuri and his wife Dr. Lamya, guests from AUB attended the ceremony, including a few Trustees, AUB Provost, Vice-Presidents, deans, professors, administrators, and staff, as well as members of the "Tobacco-Free AUB" Task Force.
Dr. Shankiti welcomed the audience and announced that Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri has received two WHO awards in recognition of his efforts in the action against smoking. The first award was the Director-General Special Recognition Award and the second was the World No Tobacco Day award.
In her address, Dr. Shankiti highlighted the continued support of the World Health Organization for all the efforts of the Ministry of Public Health, the American University of Beirut, and the institutions and all partners in the fight against smoking, to expand the implementation of all the provisions of the WHO agreement in Lebanon, whether in the area of monitoring tobacco use and precaution policies, or ways to provide assistance to those wishing to quit smoking, or warning and raising awareness about the dangers of tobacco of all kinds, to enforcing the ban on tobacco advertising and increasing tobacco taxes.
"Congratulations to Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri, congratulations to the American University of Beirut, congratulations to Lebanon," Dr. Shankiti said at the end of her address.
After receiving the WHO award, President Khuri spoke pointing out that "AUB's successful tobacco-free initiative shows that with political will, backed by evidence and committed teamwork; it is possible to implement world-standard tobacco control measures in Lebanon, which has remained a bastion of smoking despite a robust legal framework provided by Law 174.
The successful initiative was launched because AUB recognizes its responsibility to be a role model for its peers and a microcosm for Lebanon to move forward towards full implementation of the law for the benefit of the health and wellbeing of the whole population."
During the ceremony, a short film about the theme of this award and Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri's efforts in the field of tobacco control was screened.
Director General of the Ministry of Public Health Dr. Walid Ammar, stressed on the important role played by AUB in issuing Law 174 to curtail smoking, and pointed out that the law was not fully implemented in public places.
Dr. Ammar added that AUB was a pioneer in the enforcement of that law via Dr. Khuri's efforts to make AUB a smoking-free campus. Dr. Ammar pointed out that AUB has a pioneering role not only in the fields of education and scientific research, but also in health, social, environmental and cultural fields.
He expressed his happiness for Dr. Khuri's WHO award for World No Tobacco Day 2018, wishing AUB continued prosperity.
Source: National News Agency