Health minister: Smoking a top health challenge in Eastern Mediterranean Region

Minister of Health, Firas Hawari, said the smoking problem in the region, particularly in Jordan, is a ” key” health challenge in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

Addresing the 68th session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean, which kicked off remotely Tuesday, Hawari added that the the smokers’ numbers in Jordan began to reach “unprecedented” rates, as the percentage of male smokers exceeded 80% in terms of prevalence and compulsory exposure to passive smoking.

Noting the “multifaceted” nature of the smoking problem, is he said this challenge can only be resolved through a high-level and joint commitment by the various sectors.

Hawari called on all partners and stakeholders to develop the level of the region’s health systems, as the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of focusing on primary health care systems, as well as mental and disability-oriented health.

The minister also called for supporting working medical staff and maintaining their safety, which constitute “a fundamental” pillar of the health sector.

Source: Jordan News Agency