Ministry of health working together with the Uganda Alcohol Policy Alliance (UAPA) have taken extra steps to eradicate harmful alcohol use in the country.
Speaking at the opening of a two day 2nd UAPA virtual conference, Dr. Oyoo Okiya Charles the commissioner for non-communicable diseases who represented the Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng revealed that among other measures, government has started implementing the alcohol policy that prohibits the sale of alcohol to people under the age of 21 years which was passed last year by cabinet.
The ministry is also undertaking surveillance in various districts and interesting leaders to come up with by laws to curb the harmful use of alcohol and so far Gulu, Jinja and Masindi districts have led by example.
In the same way, the in charge mental health and substance abuse at the ministry of health Dr. Hasfah Lukwata Ssentogo said they are preparing a bill aiming at repealing the Engule act of 1967 and various alcohol related laws so as to come up with a proper law with holding punitive measures fitting in the current situation and generation.
She added that they are intending to carry out immense sensitization, education and awareness campaigns in schools so that children and teenagers don’t start drinking and rehabilitating the addicts.
Meanwhile the Chairperson UAPA, Dr. David Kalema applauded government for the efforts so far taken in fighting the vice.
He also urged the general public to join the movement of creating a Uganda free from alcohol harm.
It should be noted that harmful use of alcohol is responsible for 3.3 million death globally every year.
Alcohol use also leads to more than 200 disease and injury conditions including a range of mental and behavioral disorders in addition to being a massive obstacle to development, fuelling poverty, inequality, violence, including gender-based violence, and vast economic and productivity losses.
Statistic indicate that Uganda’s alcohol per capita consumption of 9.8 liters, is among the highest in Africa as Africa’s average is 6 litres (WHO, 2014). In 2011, a worldwide survey of socio-economic consequences of alcohol consumption reported Uganda as the country with the highest rate of alcohol-related negative consequences among listed drinkers.