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NEWS : Local News  

In Sierra Leone, Health/WHO end Sensitization Workshop
By Mohamed Kanu
Jun 15, 2010, 17:06
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In their sensitization drive to the populace on the harmful use of alcohol, World Health Organization (WHO) collaborated with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to organize a days sensitization workshop on Friday 11th June 2010 at the University House Fourah, Bay College in Freetown.

Addressing the audience, director of Non Communicable Diseases, Dr. Donald Bash-Taqi informed that the workshop was one of their strategies to try to form a policy in waving down communicable diseases of which alcohol is the main factor. He said studies have proved that alcohol is a dangerous factor to our health, and that looking at the present situation in which our youths are engaged in its consumption, it is their responsibility as medical doctors to create awareness on the use of alcohol and to also create policy which would help in the restriction of alcohol consumption.

With particular reference to Sierra Leone, Dr. Bash-Taqi stated that 17.2% of ages ranging from 25 to 65 are currently engaged in the drinking of alcohol which he said involves 24.4 male and 10.9 female. He therefore called on civil societies, media practitioners and other stakeholders present at the workshop to partner with the ministry so that the workshop would create a fruitful impact.

In his presentation, WHO Mental Health Officer Dr. Andree Bruni disclosed that Sierra Leone as compared to other countries in the sub region has the highest rate of alcohol consumers, being one of those countries that have no policy to help reduce the consumption of alcohol, especially for those in higher risks like drivers and pregnant women. "Study conducted by WHO in 2003 proved that 2.3 million people died world wide of alcohol and 3.7 million died 2004," he stated, while disclosing that 20% of Sierra Leone population ages ranging between 25 and 65 are currently engaged in alcohol consumption. He said the effects of excessive alcohol consumption lead to sexual harassment, bad social appearance and the contraction of illnesses such as cyrosis which leads to cancer as well as decrease in the ability of human thought. "Alcohol consumption is also the major causes of road accidents so we encourage all Sierra Leoneans to help in the formation of a policy that can minimize the consumption of alcohol in Sierra Leone," he concluded.


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