Launch of the Community Driven Tobacco Surveillance System (CDTSS)

Centre for Combating Tobacco (CCT) developed a free mobile app named as TobaccoUnmasked_HotSpots to report activities of the tobacco industry. The inputs from this app from all over the island is fed into an online map of Sri Lanka using GIS (Geographic Information System) technology. Through this TU HotSpots App and Map the whole Sri Lanka and its people will be converted into a one giant tobacco observatory. This people-driven innovative approach is named the “Community Driven Tobacco Surveillance System (CDTSS)”.
Vice chancellor of the University of Colombo, Senior Professor Lakshman Dissanayaka ceremonially launched the CDTSS at an event held on 11th March 2019 at The Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute Auditorium, Colombo. Prof. Jennifer Perera, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo welcomed the gathering and Dr. Palitha Abeykoon, Chairperson of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) delivered a speech on implementing Framework Convention and Tobacco Control (FCTC) Article 5.3 in Sri Lanka and its importance. Director, CCT Dr. Mahesh Rajasuriya spoke about Tobacco Industry Interference and introduced the TU HotSpots based CDTSS surveillance system. Dr. Olivia Corazon Nieveras, Public Health Administrator, World Health Organization Country office for Sri Lanka addressed the participants and highlighted the importance of controlling tobacco in preventing non communicable diseases.
The second session of the event was a capacity building workshop on TU HotSpots App and The Map conducted by Dr. Manuja Perera (Editor/TobaccoUnmasked)and the TobaccoUnmasked team. The participants were trained to download and install the application, using the App and the Map using a smart mobile device. At the end of the workshop a facilitated discussion was held on establishment of district coordinating committees for the CDTSS and way forward. The panel discussion was chaired by Dr. Diyanath Samarasinghe, Mr. Pubudu Sumanasekara and Dr. Mahesh Rajasuriya.
A diverse group of stakeholders in tobacco control including Academics, Medical Officers of Health, Police Officers, Public Health Inspectors (PHIs), Samurdhi Development officers, Social Development officers, members of community based organisations and community activists attended the event representing different districts in Sri Lanka.
This project was partnered by National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office for Sri Lanka.