SEA/RC62/19 - Follow-up action on pending issues and selected regional committee resolutions/decisions for the last three years: strategies to reduce harmful use of alcohol
AbstractThe WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia, vide resolution SEA/RC59/R8, requested the Regional Office to provide technical support to Member States in building and strengthening programmes on prevention of harm from alcohol use. The basis for the prevention of alcohol-related harm in the context of the South-East Asia Region should not only be disease prevention but reduction of poverty, disempowerment, prevention of violence and injuries, and improvement of well-being and social capital. Programmes should address local patterns of alcohol consumption and attitudes of communities. Another issue of concern is the consumption of alcohol among women, which is currently quite low, but is gradually increasing. Illicit alcohol production and consumption is also of concern in the Region. Legislation and policy measures alone cannot fully address the issue of reduction of harm related to alcohol use in the Region. Thus, community empowerment programmes become important as a strategy to reduce harm from alcohol use in the community. Initiatives to reduce harm from alcohol use in the Region have to take into account all the above factors. A single solution to this problem does not exist in the context of the Region. Hence, care should be taken to ensure that interventions are tailored to suit the countries and communities they are addressed to. The strategies proposed by the Regional Office to reduce the harmful use of alcohol include: (a) Support to Member States for developing alcohol-related policy; (b) Regional contribution to the draft document “Towards a Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol”; and (c) Community action to reduce harm from alcohol use, based on evidence from the Region. The attached working paper was submitted to the High-Level Preparatory (HLP) Meeting for its review and recommendations for consideration by the Sixty-second Session of the Regional Committee. The HLP meeting made the following recommendations: Action by Member States (1) Document harm from alcohol in their communities and create awareness about this harm so that such harm is recognized by society; (2) maintain vigilance about harmful trends in the use and availability of alcohol. Action by WHO/SEARO (1) Generate evidence on community based action on reducing harm from alcohol use in Member States and provide simple solutions to address this harm; (2) advocate on the issue of harm from alcohol in the Health Ministers’ Meeting to create political support. The paper is now submitted to the Sixty-second Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2009). SEA/RC62/19 - Follow-up action on pending issues and selected regional committee resolutions/decisions for the last three years: strategies to reduce harmful use of alcohol. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/128435