REDUCING TOBACCO USE – Recommendations
- Advocate for countries in the Americas to implement the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control policies and recommendations so that the fight against tobacco use continues to be a priority at the regional and country levels.
- Integrate the fight against tobacco and the promotion of healthy eating and increasing physical activity, in order to coordinate efforts and achieve campaign synergy. The focus must be coordinated to have more joint efforts and greater impact at the individual level.
- Find mechanisms to utilize support networks against non-communicable diseases (NCDs), emphasizing the sharing of experiences and lessons learned both in tobacco and in diet and physical activity, with the goal of exchanging information, training, and self-support.
- A systematic monitoring of the tobacco industry actions against public health is needed and it also needs to have the capacity to act and advocate at the international level against the industry’s tactics.
- Foster work at the civil society level in collaboration and in harmony with government. It must be an advocacy and mutual support effort, within a relationship of trust and friendship.
PROMOTING HEALTHY DIET AND INCREASING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY - Recommendations
- Create a platform that allows for the coordination of all efforts to comprehensively address the four factors. Projects and initiatives addressing the four risk factors—tobacco use, physical activity, nutrition and self-management—cannot continue to work in an isolated manner.
- There is an urgent need to reposition or better position community initiatives where they are given a more important role in public health issues. From the start, these initiatives need to be a part of every public health policy formulation process.
- Civil society plays a key role in the promotion of healthy lifestyles for the prevention and control of non-communicable and chronic diseases. There are many lessons from organizations in the Americas that have shown the importance of community-based support and the work that can be accomplished in the area of non-communicable and chronic diseases.
- Institutions of higher education should include the promotion of healthy lifestyles in the training and development of health care professionals. Increased advocacy on the part of academicians and health program faculties should be encouraged, so that they articulate and incorporate health promotion topics in the programs of study and curriculums.
- Start working with children from infancy to inculcate good habits and to make this learning permanent. Governments, schools and other organizations should work together to create the environments and develop capacity and skills to be able to incorporate the subject of healthy lifestyles at all levels of schooling.
- Production and promotion of local food supply should be strengthened, especially in rural areas, so communities have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, mechanisms must be established so that food advertising and its targeted marketing to children include strategies to promote healthy nutrition.
PROMOTING COMMUNITY PRACTICES TO SUPPORT SELF-MANAGEMENT, WITH EMPHASIS ON PEOPLE WITH CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES AND DIABETES - Recommendations
- Create networks and government-private sector alliances that facilitate site visits or information exchange about self-management practices and community support should be created. This information should be compiled, disseminated and integrated according to the needs and sociocultural characteristics of each community and its health system.
- Alliances between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the government should be promoted to disseminate information about non-communicable diseases, including aspects related to patient and caregiver self-management. These alliances should also include the various media outlets, which are key to the process of dissemination health-related information.
- Develop standard methodologies for the training of health personnel, physicians in particular, on how to manage and facilitate self-management practices among patients. In a collaborative and multi-centric way, information should be collected, results compared, and the participation of academia and community leadership in the construction of these methodologies to promote self-management practices should be supported.