By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
Deputy Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr.Mustapha Kabba, has disclosed that over 3million people die around the world every year as a result of alcohol consumption.
He made the statement on Friday, April 14, at the official launch of the National Alcohol Policy, Youi Building in Freetown.
He reiterated that, according to World Health Organization WHO, in 2018, more than three million died as a result of the harmful use of alcohol, noting that 1 in 20 death and more than three-quarters of those deaths were men.
“The Harmful use of alcohol is a causal factor in more than 200 disease and injury conditions. Out of the 5,030,016 population 10 years and over, 3.5 percent took alcohol, 2.6 percent took both tobacco and alcohol and 83.4 percent took either tobacco or alcohol,” he said.
He added that the National Alcohol Policy is aligned with the World Health Organization’s Global Strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol and the global alcohol action plan adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2010 and 2022 respectively.
The Executive Director of Sierra Leone Social Linkage for Youth Development and Child Link and Vice President of Alcohol Policy, Habib Taigore Kamara, said alcohol use contributes to more than 300,000 deaths in the sub-region, with more than 80,000 of those deaths would not have occurred if alcohol had not been consumed.
He added that Sierra Leone is among the countries experiencing the highest number of years’ lost due to ill-health, disability or early death, adding that around 14,000 deaths of children and youth under 19 were attributed to alcohol, according to a 2010 World Health Organization’s report
“Alcohol is the leading risk factor for death and disability among people aged 15 to 49 years in Sierra Leone. This is the age range in which people are typically most productive economically,” he said.