Every year, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes individuals or organizations in each of the six WHO Regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. This recognition takes the form of WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award and World No Tobacco Day Awards.
In 2013, the Vision for Alternative Development (VALD) lead by Issah Ali, its Executive Director was awarded the WHO Director-General’s Special Recognition Certificate.
In 2014, the African Academy of Sciences in its publication titled: ‘Preventing a Tobacco Epidemic in Africa, A Call for Effective Action to Support Health, Social, and Economic Development’, Recognised the work and role of CSOs on the Africa continent with special emphases on VALD:
“Civil society organizations are groups that represent the needs of their communities. They can reach populations that governments cannot, and they are independent from government and less sensitive to political priorities than governments. They can serve as gatekeepers and collaborating platforms as well, increasing access to difficult-to-reach and vulnerable groups and preventing redundancy. In Ghana, Vision for Alternative Development (VALD) is one such organization. VALD works to educate the public on the harmful effects of tobacco use, and also builds capacity for effective implementation and enforcement of national tobacco control policies.”