Smoking is a risk factor for most disease conditions – Medical Doctor

By Aminu Ibrahim II Contributor
Health Dr. Emmanuella Boye
Dr. Emmanuella Boye

Dr. Emmanuella Boye, a medical practitioner with the Wa Municipal Hospital, has said that the habit of cigarette smoking is a factor that increases the likelihood of people developing several health disorders.

She said this in Wa on Sunday May 19, 2024 during a meet-up of the Wa Konnect, a convening of like-minded individuals living in Wa, Upper West Region who are passionate about the town's development and the country as a whole.

The Wa Konnect is an initiative of the GhanaThink Foundation, a talent mobilization and deployment social enterprise dedicated to promoting mentorship, networking, training and volunteering opportunities for people to contribute to their communities.

The meet-up formed part of the GhanaThink Foundation's Clean Air Ghana Project dubbed "Galvanizing Youth Advocacy to Tackle Air Pollution" which is being implemented across the country with support from the Clean Air Fund.

The project is aimed at raising awareness of the impact of air pollution and triggering discussions on the causes and solutions to air pollution on social media and beyond.

"Cigarette smoking is a risk factor for so many medical conditions," Dr. Boye said as she explained that the hot smoke that is being inhaled by smokers lead not only to lung conditions but also common critical medical conditions like cardiological and neurological diseases.

"The cigarette you are smoking has some nicotine in it; that's why when it gets into your lungs, it will trigger some inflammation in your lungs. So with repeated inhabitation of the cigarette smoke, repeated inflammation going on, the lung starts to scar and become fibrotic.

"Cigarette smoking does not only cause lung problems, it contributes to those who have hypertension, those who have diabetes, and all of these will lead to the strokes, the heart failures, the heart attacks, [and] kidney failures," Dr. Boye explained.

She admonished that every person was risk and should be wary of the dangers of smoking, especially the naive smoker who inhales from primary smokers or individuals who cook with charcoal and firewood.

Mr. Minkailu Silinba, a waste recycling enthusiast, advocated the use of plastic materials especially bottles to build eco-bricks which could be used for construct buildings or for decorative purposes.

"We can use this eco-brick to do a lot of designs, like the last time we said our roundabout is not very decorative, we can use this one to decorate our corners… instead of burning it.

"Let's build more eco-bricks and one day, we can find a challenged school where there's no urinal pit, we can go there with cement and build the urinal pit for that particular community, [and] I think if we do that, the burning will stop," he urged members of the Konnect.

Mr. Silinba whose YirSaala venture recently won a prize from the Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC) AgriBiz Build-Up Challenge, said the use of agricultural waste for the production of briquette, a smokeless hot-burning charcoal, was a way of reducing waste menace and promoting clean air.

Ms. Rahinatu Haruna, the Resource Lead for GhanaThink Foundation and community lead for the Clean Air Ghana Project, said the Foundation was leveraging social media and community leaders to influence discussions and decisions towards reducing air pollution and promoting clean air for healthier lives.

She added that the Konnect meet-ups were other platforms that the Foundation was using to instigate community members and young people to make environmentally friendly choices for cleaner air.

"We had Konnect meet-ups in October [2023], early March [2024], we had a Konnect meet-up, all topics on clean air and in May, today, we also had the same discussion," she said.

Ms. Haruna said it was not only the Konnect platforms that were dedicated to the promotion of clean air but also other gatherings of people were used to trigger discussions about clean air and influence people's clean air options.

Mr. Ambrose Wawai, a member of the Wa Konnect, called on the public to incorporate trees on their plots into their building architecture rather than always felling them to pave way for raising their structures.

Wa KonnectWa Konnect