Malawi Alcohol Policy Alliance (MAPA) is leaving no stone unturned in civic and lobbying the government to pass the National Alcohol Policy and start implanting it amid increasing cases of harmful alcohol use among young people and several challenges associated with delay of the policy at cabinet level.
The revelation were made in Lilongwe on Friday when MAPA partnered the Drug Fight Malawi during Press Conference titled; ‘People’s concerns on the increase of Alcohol-Related problems in the country’ and requesting government to pass the National Alcohol Policy and start implementing it’
MAPA National Chair Felix Chikalira said alcohol production and use has for a long time been part of tradition particularly within the social and cultural fabric of society. Similarly, alcohol plays essential role in generating personal and national income as well as creating employment for people.
However, He expressed worry with increasing cases of harmful alcohol use specifically among the young people which in turn has exerted enormous burdens across the health, social as well as economic systems, whose disproportionate costs far outweigh the benefits derived from its production.
“You may wish to know that the nature and magnitude of public health ruin in respect of the alcohol-attributable burdens of disease, injury and deaths worsened by alcohol indulgence cannot be ignored hence a need for a law to protect these”, he said
National Coordinator for MAPA and Drug Fight Malawi Nelson Zakeyu commenting on the same said health-related alcohol linked disorder such as cancer, diabetes, liver, heart and road accidents and deaths have negatively affected country’s development.
“The escalating wave of social, moral and economic burden such as gender-based violence, family disruptions commission of crimes, youth delinquency, child abuse work-related problems leading to unemployment and reduced workplace productivity are among a few”, he indicated
He also add that the draft National Alcohol Policy was presented to Office of the President and cabinet (July, 2015) waiting to be passed by Cabinet, but less is been done by government to avoid problems arising on the same.
Church and Society, Nkhoma Synold George Chaguza was on the view that despite claims by manufactures of these strong liquor with over 40% of alcohol content that they are supporting government efforts of improving the economy and reducing poverty their products continue to bring a lot of discomfort to the general public and not sparing the church quarters.
Also to this effect ZBS report aired on Friday, 30th September, 2016 bears witness to public concerns. According to ZBS report, at least 20 people are dying every month due to the liquor.