The Executive Director for the civil society on health, ‘Health Network Sierra Leone,’ Robert Kondema Kargbo said there had been an excessive abuse of alcohol among the younger population of the country because there had not been a policy to control it’s consumption. He made the statement on Wednesday 2nd October 2019 in marking the ‘World No Alcohol Day’ with the theme ‘Stop Abusing Alcohol to Prevent Violence for National Development’. “The frustration is that while efforts are readily in place to improve on the health sector, the abuse of alcohol continues to undermine such efforts by killing potential workforce, as the practice is common among young and productive age groups,” Kargbo noted. He added that most of the alcoholic products were being purchased by young people, either for their use or the use of their elders. “Our aim as a civil society organization is to ensure that, while the factories trade and employ our citizens in the hospitality industry, they themselves see the need to minimize the alcohol contents in their products as part of their corporate social responsibility,” Kargbo reiterated.
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Kargbo said one of the causes for excessive addiction to alcohol was because children come into contact with alcoholic products and have access to them at a very tender age. He explained that the companies that produce the different types of liquors had not been responsible in the manner in which they produce them. “There should be a strict monitoring mechanism by the relevant authorities on the methods and limitation of the alcohol content in these drinks,” he pointed out. The Head of the Kissy Psychiatric Hospital, Dr. Abdulai Jalloh said most of the prevalent cases of mental illness handled in that facility were related to drug and alcohol abuse. “They have different other substances they add into the alcohol liquid before drinking it and this makes them to be on the wrong side of their mental ability, leading them to have various mental disorders,” Dr. Jalloh elucidated. The World Health Organization sets aside October 2nd every year to call attention to authorities to difficulties caused by alcohol abuse and ways to reduce those problems. Meanwhile some young people around Freetown did not even get the awareness that October 2 was such a day. According to the world health organization there are 2,500,000 alcohol-related deaths every year. More than 300,000 of those are people between the ages of 15 and 29. The WHO further states that alcohol is the world’s third-leading cause of poor health. And a third world country like Sierra Leone where there are very loose ends on issues related to alcohol use and its impact, would not be an exception.
By Abdulai Gbla
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