Grant to Expand Tobacco Control Surveillance in Sub-Saharan Africa

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the world, resulting in almost 6 million deaths annually. Compared to many other regions, tobacco use in sub-Saharan Africa remains relatively low, but consumption in the region is rising as tobacco companies are increasingly targeting low- and middle-income countries and seeking to expand usage among these populations. The CDC Foundation is pleased to announce that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is providing a grant of nearly $4.6 million to track tobacco use and tobacco control measures across sub-Saharan Africa.

Tobacco SurveillanceThe four-year grant will enable the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in partnership with the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, to build and enhance tobacco use surveillance and research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa, by producing nationally representative data to track tobacco use and trends across the region.

The program will expand the Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS) and will enhance tobacco use surveillance and research capacity in the region. GTSS, comprised of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, and Tobacco Questions for Surveys, will allow sub-Saharan African countries to produce globally standardized tobacco use data and track key tobacco control measures among the region’s adult and youth populations. The data collected will provide stakeholders with the scientific information to overcome challenges in developing, implementing and evaluating effective national tobacco control policies and programs.

A recent study published in Tobacco Control found that without comprehensive tobacco prevention and control policies, smoking prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa will rise from approximately 16 percent in 2010 to 22 percent by 2030. This grant provides a unique opportunity to reduce the global burden of tobacco use by enhancing tobacco control and surveillance capacity in the region. The CDC Foundation is pleased to work with global partners to reduce the harmful consequences of tobacco use, and improve the health of the people in sub-Saharan Africa.

Photo of Rachna Chandora
Rachna Chandora, MPH, is vice president for the noninfectious disease programs for the CDC Foundation.