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    World No Tobacco award for Nepal partners HERD

    HERD executive director Dr Sushil Baral (left) accepts the award from Dr Frank Paulin, acitng WHO representative, Nepal

    HERD executive director Dr Sushil Baral (left) accepts the No Tobacco award from Dr Frank Paulin, acting WHO representative, Nepal

    Health Research and Social Development Forum (HERD) has been presented with a World No Tobacco Award 2015 by the World Health Organization (WHO).

    The award recognises HERD’s work to develop and implement a behaviour change intervention for tobacco cessation – a project that has already resulted in a 37% quit rate among smokers.

    Supported by COMDIS-HSD, HERD has focused specifically on the provision of individual counselling, education and follow-up sessions for lung health patients visiting primary health care centres.

    Receiving the award on behalf of his team, HERD executive director, Dr Sushil Baral, said: “We have been working very closely with the Ministry of Health and Population in the sector of tobacco control since our establishment in 2004. We started with the inter-linkage of tobacco users being vulnerable to tuberculosis.

    “Our approach has been generating the evidence, informing the policy and changing the practice. We are proud that our effort, through the feasibility study intervention in the primary health care settings, has been acknowledged by the ministry and WHO.”

    HERD project co-ordinator for tobacco control, Sudeepa Khanal, added: “It is a great moment for us as all the effort we have put in to tobacco control initiatives has finally paid off.”

    Shraddha Manandhar, research officer, who observed and monitored the intervention in one of the primary health centres in Kathmandu, explained: “We had to conduct several meetings and follow-up sessions to finally come up with a successful result – a 37% quit rate among smokers who received the intervention support. The wait has been worthwhile.”

    Every year, WHO gives the World No Tobacco Day awards to individuals and institutions selected for their long-term commitment and outstanding contribution to research, advocacy, health promotion, capacity building and other activities that promote and enforce tobacco control.

    Read more about how the team developed the intervention in the HERD LinkedIn blog.