Experts Call for More Research to Support Harm Reduction Concept

On October 26, 2023

Nairobi, Kenya— Health experts have emphasized the need for additional research on Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) products to provide a stronger evidence base for the harm reduction concept, writes Josephine Chinele.

Harm reduction is an approach that aims to mitigate the negative consequences of certain health behaviours without necessarily eradicating those behaviours completely or permanently.

Experts believe that THR can benefit from the same concept that has been effective in public health areas, such as promoting condom use for safe sex, male circumcision for HIV prevention, and the use of seat belts to prevent accident-related injuries.

Kenyan-based medical doctor and advocate, Mercy Korir, made this call during the third hybrid harm reduction exchange meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya this week.

Korir stated, “While harm reduction has proven to be useful in various public health areas, including those mentioned, there appear to be numerous misconceptions surrounding THR. This underscores the importance of gathering more evidence-based information.”

Dr. Korir emphasised that research efforts should also include community engagement.