Action to reduce the harmful use of alcohol: report of the Regional Director
Abstract1. The disease burden attributable to harmful use of alcohol is significant at global level and in the African Region. Trends in globalization and international trade agreements make alcohol widely available and affordable for consumption. 2. Studies reveal a large proportion of drinkers in some countries in the Region, even among women. According to a WHO STEPS survey,1 large percentages of respondents in Cameroon (84%), Mozambique (77.2%) and Cote d’Ivoire (71%) had drunk alcohol in the previous 12 months. The same survey in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2005 showed that in the previous 12 months only 53.7% of women reported not having drunk alcohol. 3. In 2000, harmful use of alcohol globally was responsible for 4.0% of the burden of disease and 3.2% of all deaths, almost as much overall damage to health as tobacco (4.1%) and high blood pressure (4.4%). In 2000 and 2002, the estimates of total deaths attributable to harmful use of alcohol in the African Region show a significant burden of 2.1% and 2.2%, respectively.2 4. In the last few years, increases in consumption and changes in drinking patterns among adolescents have been reported by countries in the Region. In 2004, the Global School-based Student Health Survey3 showed that 42.3% of Zambian adolescent students between 13 and 15 years old were current consumers of alcohol, and from those, 42.8%, had already been drunk at least once in their lives. In Namibia, 32.8% were current alcohol consumers and 31.8% had already been drunk.
Regional Committee for Africa, 58. (2008). Action to reduce the harmful use of alcohol: report of the Regional Director. World Health Organization. Regional Office for Africa. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/19935
DescriptionRegional Committee for Africa, fifty-eighth Session, Yaounde, Republic of Cameroon, 1–5 September 2008, provisional agenda item 7.1, 6 p.
Gov't Doc #AFR/RC58/3
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