Uhuru Kenyatta wore a Coca-Cola branded t-shirt yesterday while receiving the World Cup trophy. It shouldn’t be a big deal, but for four things;
1. In all the countries the trophy is touring, no other President has agreed to wear the Coca-Cola t-shirt while receiving the trophy. In fact, in most countries, Presidents don’t give a damn about the trophy-tour they send their junior officers to entertain the entourage, and in all the cases, not even the junior officers have bowed down to the enticing offer to put on the Coca-Cola branded shirt.
2. The 2007 Tobacco Control Act literally bans all forms of advertising of tobacco products in the media. It is the reason you people no longer see cigarettes being advertised on television, radio, billboards or even at the front of your supermarkets. Tobacco is scientifically the number one cause of lung cancer. Cancer is one of the four major non-communicable diseases; the others are diabetes, heart attack and stroke; and chronic respiratory diseases. You will scientifically contract any of those four diseases through four major proven risk factors; tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets.
3. The consumption of soda sits there at the fourth risk factor (unhealthy diets). If you went to the Ministry of Health today, and you wanted to pump in some money to sponsor some of their events, there is a list of banned organizations they are not allowed to receive money, or any other form of donation, from. You will never see tobacco companies sponsoring any government health event, same applies to soda companies, salt companies, and what not. This list also includes baby formula milk companies, for the simple reason that the government is supposed to encourage exclusive breastfeeding among mothers for the first six month, and baby formula milk consumption directly goes against this child health guideline.
4. Uhuru Kenyatta wearing a Coca-Cola branded shirt, therefore, means that the guy doesn’t care about government policy, whatever government policy it is. The World Health Organization principle is very clear that fizzy drinks are bad for your health, and increase the risks of getting any of the four NCDs above. Already, the World Health Organization have sent out an alert to governments to consider heavily taxing soda companies in their countries, as a way of curbing the soaring rates of obesity, especially among children. The message from the UN body responsible for health matters is very clear; that sodas are bad for your health, and their continued consumption increases the risk of obesity and, thereafter, morbid diabetes. Their use should be regulated, at worst, and banned, at best.
You will never see any government official wearing a Tobacco company branded t-shirt, you will never see Coca Cola donating any equipment to government even if it is a t-shirt, and if the WHO found out that the Ministry of Health have accepted any donation from Nestle, the baby milk formula company, Geneva would send a protest letter and even revoke our membership at the global body.
I won’t be surprised if Coca-Cola took that photo of Uhuru Kenyatta wearing their branded t-shirt and used it to advertise those fizzy drinks, with the intention of luring kids into pumping more sugar inside their already clogged system. On one hand, you are setting up pay bill numbers to help diabetes patients go for further specialized treatment, while on the other hand your president is encouraging the spread of diabetes risk factors without a care in the world.
But what do I know?
By Gabriel Oguda via Facebook