Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA) has called on governments in the region to increase the regulation of alcohol availability, pricing, and marketing.
The organisation made these remarks in its commemoratory message of World Health Day yesterday. SAAPA alluded that 60% of alcohol consumers in the region are heavy drinkers which has contributed to a spike in illicit behavior.
“Only a third of the population in the region drinks alcohol. However, of those who drink, about 60% drink heavily causing harm to themselves and others. Alcohol causes cancer, increases gender based violence (gbv), road crashes, child abuse and neglect. Alcohol affects citizens’ health and costs governments precious resources as its regulation is fundamental to realizing health and development.” the statement reads.
This comes at a time Zimbabwe is recording a spike in drug abuse and addiction cases among the youth. The scourge has seen government setting aside a National Drug Abuse Fund to help, among other things, establish rehabilitation centres for drug addicts and also combat and contain drug and substance abuse
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) will adopt an action plan at the World Health Assembly in May 2022 “to accelerate global actions to reduce alcohol attributable harm by 2030.”