International collaboration to build tobacco control capacity: a case study of KOMPLY from the World Heart Federation Emerging Leaders program
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Center for Tobacco Control Africa, Uganda
Framework Convention Alliance, Cameroon
Nigerian Heart Foundation, Nigeria
University of Otago, New Zealand
Waterloo University, Canada
Healthy People Rwanda, Rwanda
Northwestern University, United States of America
McMaster University, Canada
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A628
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Article 22 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control calls for collaboration among the Parties and international organizations to facilitate the development, transfer and acquisition of knowledge, skills, capacity and expertise related to tobacco control. International collaborations are especially important to help counter the tobacco epidemic in low and middle-income countries and will also contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goals. We will summarise the World Heart Federation (WHF) Emerging Leaders program, using the case study of the KOMPLY collaboration which focused on evaluating and supporting compliance with Uganda's newly implemented smoke-free legislation.

Intervention or response:
As part of WHF's goal to reduce cardiovascular disease by 25% by 2025, an Emerging Leaders program was initiated of which the 2016 focus was tobacco control. Twenty-five Emerging Leaders from across the globe were selected and attended a WHF think-tank. Participants received education, training, mentoring and the opportunity to apply for seed funding, to facilitate leadership and the development of a new collaborative tobacco control project.

Results and lessons learnt:
In the 18 months following the think-tank, the KOMPLY team collected evidence that showed poor compliance with the smoke-free legislation in Ugandan hospitality venues (e.g. designated smoking areas were present, no-smoking signage was absent, hazardous levels of tobacco particulate matter in venues that allowed smoking). This evidence is being used by the Ugandan government to defend the 2015 Tobacco Control Act in response to litigation by British American Tobacco. Outputs produced include a factsheet and technical report for Ugandan stakeholders, academic articles and conference presentations. Team members established working relationships with individuals from key international tobacco control organisations, developed academic outputs, acquired new skills and opportunities for further professional development.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Initiatives such as WHF's Emerging Leaders program can make a substantial contribution to building capacity for tobacco control, through fostering international collaborations to increase leadership, research and advocacy efforts in LMICs.

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