Saturday, June 22

Role of Social Media Influencers for Public Health, PANAH Conducts Training Session in Murree

غیر متعدی بیماریوں کی وجہ بننے والے الٹرا پراسیسیڈ فوڈز اور میٹھے مشروبات پر ٹیکسوں میں اضافے کے لیے پناہ کا مری میں سوشل میڈیا انفلوئنسرز کے لیے تربیتی سیشن کا انعقاد the pakistan timesMore than 2100 die daily in Pakistan due to NCDs. Major causes of NCDs is use of Ultra-Processed Products. Ultra-processed foods are often very high in sugary, salt or trans-fats. Sweet beverages stand out as the primary source of sugar intake in our diet. Pakistan holds the top position globally in terms of the highest prevalence ratio of the diabetes with 33 million people living with diabetes. Approximately 1100 deaths in Pakistan are linked to diabetes and its complications daily. Without swift and decisive action, the number of individuals with diabetes is projected to reach 62 million by 2045. Implementing evidence –based policies, such as increasing taxes on UPPs can effectively reduce consumption and mitigate associated chronic diseases. In response to the alarming rise of obesity and non-communicable diseases in Pakistan, the Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) hosted a capacity-building training session for social media influencers on the 25th of February 2024 at a local hotel in Murree. The training aimed to equip influencers with the knowledge and tools to advocate for healthier dietary practices and combat the growing threat posed by ultra-processed foods and sugary drinks.
The social media influencers were engaged in a robust discussion on the role they can play in raising awareness about the health hazards of ultra-processed foods and sugary drinks. Influencer can play a pivot role in building pressure to influence policymakers to tax Ultra Processed products. The event was not only an informative session but also served as a platform for fostering a collaborative effort among social media influencers and PANAH to collectively address the pressing public health challenges. By providing influencers with the tools to enhance positive change, the training session played a pivotal role in advancing the collective mission of public health in Pakistan.
Country coordinator Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) Mr. Munawar Hussain conducted the training session of the social media influencers. He said that increasing excise tax on Ultra-processed products is an evidence based first and an effective policy action to reduce its consumption and related chronic diseases. This may be smart policy choice for government as it will reduce disease, hospital expenditure and increase revenue for government without spending any additional money and efforts. While referring a World Bank study conducted in 2022, he said that increasing 50 percent excise tax on sugary drinks can generate on an average USD 810 million every year for next 10 years. Similarly, economic value of the health impact in term of reduced hospital expenditures and others will be 8.9 million US dollars every year. Government must increase tax on all ultra-processed products in Finance Bill 2024-25 to reduce their consumption.
General Secretary PANAH, Mr. Sana Ullah Ghumman hosted the event. He shared with the participant that sugary industry propagating wrong information to misguide the government, these tactics are adopted by the industry every year before budget without having any fact and data. Certificates were disbursed among the participants of the event.


Editor: Kamran Raja