To reduce the harmful use of alcohol, on Friday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released SAFER- a new initiative and the technical package outlining the five high-impact strategies that can also help governments to minimalize the health, social and economic consequences related to alcohol use.
India’s love for alcohol is increasing slowly and this shows the precarious condition of the country. According to a report by WHO, the per capita alcohol consumption in India has more than doubled from 2005 to 2016.
Further, it mentioned that in this country, the consumption of alcohol has increased from 2.4 liters in 2005 to 5.7 liters in 2016 with 4.2 liters being consumed by men and 1.5 liters by women.
This newest WHO-led roadmap will help the government to take practical steps and accelerate progress on health, counter non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by addressing the harmful use of alcohol, and achieve development targets, as mentioned in PTI report.
SAFER: What it contains
SAFER provides five high-impact strategic actions that are prioritized for implementation to promote health and development:
- Strengthen restrictions on alcohol availability.
- Advance and enforce drink driving countermeasures.
- Facilitate access to screening, brief interventions, and treatment.
- Enforce bans or comprehensive restrictions on alcohol advertising, sponsorship, and promotion.
- Raise prices on alcohol through excise taxes and pricing policies.
Due to the harmful use of alcohol, there were 3 million deaths (5.3 percent of all deaths) worldwide) and 132.6 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in 2016. Mortality resulting from alcohol consumption is higher than that caused by diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and diabetes, which gives us a glimpse of the gravity of the situation.
Director-General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “We are proud to introduce SAFER a package of proven interventions to reduce the harms caused by alcohol, and a new partnership to catalyze global action.“