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August 18, 2014
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Health minister hosts who needs assessment team

A five-member team from the Convention Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control will be in Jamaica from today to conduct a joint needs assessment and examine the country's progress towards achieving the objectives of the articles within the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (fctc).

Jamaica signed the FCTC in 2003 and ratified the treaty in 2005.

Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson, who will be hosting the team, says the group will be looking at the current status of implementation of the articles of the FCTC. The assessment comes as Jamaica prepares to put in place comprehensive tobacco-control legislation in furtherance of its commitment under the FCTC.

"A part of the objectives of the assessment is to look at the present gaps and identify how we can fill them. We are moving towards a comprehensive Tobacco Control Bill and have already started to focus on other important areas of the convention. The Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations, 2013 was one of the many things that we needed to put in place to be in compliance with the treaty," Dr Ferguson said.

The needs assessment exercise is coordinated jointly by the convention secretariat along with countries that are parties to the convention in order to identify their specific technical and financial needs and the gaps which restrain their fulfilling the objectives under the terms of the FCTC. Discussions will be undertaken with key stakeholders, including government ministries, international organisations and development partners.

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