Gov’t commits to fast track alcohol legislative policies to curb the alarming numbers of its harmful use

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Dr. Henry Mwebesa posing with some of the UAPA official after the launch of the alcohol status report 2018. Photo by Ronald Kabuye

By Ronald Kabuye
Government through ministry of health has committed to fast track legislative process of both the National Alcohol Control Policy and Alcohol control bill in order to reduce the alarming numbers of harmful alcohol use in the country.
This has been revealed by the director general health services Dr. Henry Mwebesa who represented the health minister Jane Ruth Acheng at the opening of the first ever Uganda Alcohol policy conference held under the theme unite against alcohol harm: a call for action at hotel Africana.
In the meantime ministry of health has urged the local governments to enact by- laws to protect their people against harmful alcohol use as the country awaits cabinet to pass the National alcohol control policy which is before it and the alcohol control bill.
Statistics from the National mental referral hospital Butabika indicates that 20% to 30% of admission are alcohol related cases of which 70- 80% are under 30 years.

some of the participants of the first alcohol control policy conference at Hotel Africana. photo by Ronald Kabuye

Uganda is one the countries with high per capita alcohol consumption with the highest prevalence of negative outcomes after its consumption. Globally alcohol is responsible for 3.3 million annually, factors more than 200 diseases, road traffic accident, domestic violence among others.
Presenting the Uganda Alcohol status report- 2018, the Chairperson of the conference Dr. David Kalema urged government to limit access of alcohol, ban sachet alcohol, increase the awareness and research for evidence, not only pass relevant legislation but also enact them  in addition to getting role models for the youngsters.
The report indicates that alcohol is 80% accessible in Uganda and 98% in Kampala, under age consumption stands at 61%, informal made alcohol which is the most dangerous stands at 31%, parents play 28% role in promoting alcohol use in the children and 80% spent 0-20% while 12.8% spent 21-40% of their income on alcohol.
The report also indicates that it contributes 28% to gender bases violence while 11% of women were reportedly forced to have sex under influence of alcohol and 27% of parents abuse the children due to alcohol use.

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