Alcohol kills 3.3 million people each year in the world


April 4, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Samuel Sesay, a senior official at the Minister of Health and Sanitation, last Thursday disclosed that the excessive and harmful use of alcohol cause over 3.3 million deaths around the world every year.

Sesay made this disclosure at a one day seminar organised for journalists by the Sierra Leone Alcohol Policy Alliance and the Foundation for Rural Urban Transformation (FoRUT), at the Council of Churches Sierra Leone (CCSL) Conference Hall in Freetown.

He said excessive intake of alcohol also exposes people to over two hundred diseases.
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“A Lot of young people today take excessive alcohol with the excuse that it relieves them of their stress. I don’t believe in their philosophy because all I know is that the use of alcohol has been habitual to our young people in the country,” he said.

Chairperson of the Sierra Leone Alcohol Policy Alliance, Ibrahim B. Kamara, said the Alliance works with FoRUT and other partners to see how best they could minimise the excessive use of alcohol among young people in the country.

He said dozens of young people were now addicted to alcohol because local beverage companies produce the substance and sell at cheaper cost which youths can easily afford.

He disclosed that on 28 October, 2015 more than 120 participants gathered for a national conference in Freetown to hold discussions on how alcohol-related harm could be reduced.

He said their intention was to invite civil society and government institutions to a broad and inclusive policy process to develop a National Alcohol Policy Alliance.

“We believe that we can’t succeed without the media, which is why we thought it fit to engage them because at the end of the day they would have to communicate to the populace about the harmful use of alcohol,” he said.

Annmarie Sidique, Assistant Secretary at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, said her ministry would collaborate with all stakeholders in a bid to ensure that the excessive use of alcohol among young people in the country was minimised.

She said they have worked on a new policy that has to do with taxing beverage companies, adding that they were waiting for the newly appointed minister to be approved, so that they would take the issue to Parliament for approval.

Unisa Mansaray, Public Relations Officer at FoRUT, said in a presentation that the use of alcohol was harmful in all aspect, as it affects the home by promoting violence. He noted that when the head of the household becomes addicted to alcohol, starvation would definitely reign in that home.