Forming committee on the prevention and control of alcohol
A national steering committee on the prevention and control of harmful alcohol consumption is set to be formed as part of the government’s efforts to minimize alcohol abuse in the country.
The establishment of the committee is part of a national policy to control drinking up until 2020, which was reviewed during a meeting in Hanoi on May 7.
Issued by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on February 12, the policy aims to prevent and minimize the harms of alcoholic drinks, especially beer and wine, on public health, social order and safety.
The policy looks to reduce and even eliminate the circulation of poor quality alcoholic drinks in the market, reducing the rise of annual alcohol consumption among people above the age of 15 to 10% in the 2013-2016 period, and down to 6.5% in the 2017-2020 period.
By 2016, 30% of alcohol addicts will have been medically diagnosed, with 25% of the total receiving consultations and treatment. The respective figures by 2020 are expected to be 50% and 40%, it said.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the harmful use of alcohol is a global problem which affects both individual and social development. It results in 2.5 million deaths each year, or more than 6,000 every day.
More than 50% of the fatalities are associated with infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections, as alcohol consumption weakens the immune system and has a negative effect on patients’ adherence to antiretroviral treatment.
In Vietnam, as many as 70% of men drinks alcohol and one out of four men drinks beer and wine in a harmful way, equivalent to six glasses of beer each day.
Participants at the event, jointly held by the Ministry of Health and WHO, also underscored the importance of strengthening communications for the policy, as well as the building of a legal framework related to the work.
It is also crucial to comprehensively supply information and data related the production, trade and use of alcoholic drinks, while strengthening the inspection and assessment of the implementation of the policy, they said.
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