Every year, the World Health Organization (WHO) awards individuals or organizations in each of its six regions for their achievements in tobacco control. In 2023, one WHO Director-General’s Special Commendation will be given out. The recognition comes in two forms, the World No Tobacco Day Award and the WHO Director-General’s Special Commendation. These awards recognize the efforts of those who work to combat tobacco use around the world.
The WHO Director-General’s Special Commendation recipients for 2023 include Dr. Odete Maria Freitas Bello, Timorese Minister of Health Tobacco Control Officer, Ministry of Health, Panama Golataone Dikoroti MP (Botswana), Mr. Omar Badje (National Officer for Tobacco Control), The Gambia, Mr. Spurina Robi Chacha, Kenya, Mr. Anthony Mutemba, Nairobi City and County Tobacco Control Department Director, Kenya, Migori County Government, Kenya, and Health Ministry of Health, Sierra Leone.
The Common Award for the Americas Region goes to Brazil’s ACT Promoção da Saúde Center for Studies Tobacco and Health, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, and the Joint Award Mexico’s Salud Justa Mx, Polithink Coalición México Salud, Hable Comunicación, Dialogo y Conciencia SC – Códice, and Refleacciona con Responsabilidad AC. Uruguay’s Centro de Investigación para la Epidemia del Tabaquismo – CIET and Sociedad Uruguaya de Taba cologia – SUTE received the shared award.
In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the recipients are Dr. Michel Mawad, Chancellor of the Lebanese-Lebanese American University, Dr. Hani Al Goumani, Head of Department of Non-Communicable Diseases, Ministry of Public Health, Qatar, Anti-Cancer Foundation, Belgium, Professor Panagiotis Belakis, Greece Tobacco Greece, Dr. Jamilya Sadykova, Public Funding “Temexiz”, National Coalition “For Kazakhstan To Quit Smoking”, Kazakhstan, National Institute of Public Health and Environment, Reinshe Tarhout Ph.D., Dutch National Institute of Public Health, and its Anti-Tobacco Working Group, Slovenia.
For the Southeast Asia Region, the Laureate State Tobacco Control Commission (STCC), Government of Meghalaya, India, Multidisciplinary Center for Development Research Dharwad, India-Indonesia, and Multicultural Farmers Forum (FPMI), Indonesia, and the National Bureau of Statistics, Thailand are the recipients.
The West Pacific Region winners are Cambodia Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Lao People’s Democratic Republic National Assembly Cultural and Social Committee, Senator Pia S. Cayetano (Philippines), Ministry of Health Vanuatu, and co-winners Fiji: Ministry of Health Fiji Revenue Customs Department, and Fiji Police.