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Alcohol Consumption Control In Offing   
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Ghana will soon have a policy to regulate the production, distribution, advertisement and consumption of alcoholic products in the country.

Dr Akwasi Osei, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Mental Health Authority and Chief Psychiatrist at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital who disclosed this, said the policy is in its final draft awaiting a few technicalities from stakeholders to be adopted.

“The policy when adopted will regulate the hygienic conditions of where it is produced, the content used to produce the alcohol and then packaging will have to include the percentage of the alcohol, and then also where you can and cannot distributed the alcoholic products,” he said.

Dr Osei was speaking at the African Healthy Lifestyle Day on the theme: ‘Prevent The Harmful Use Of Alcohol; Staying Alive, Staying Healthy’.

Presenting the effect of alcohol use and mental health, Dr Osei said about 23 percent of Ghanaians aged 15 years and above either drink alcohol or have drunk it within the next 12 months.

He further mentioned that although the number is low and thus one can say Ghanaians do not drink, “but the significance is that you have a number of 15-year olds taking alcohol so we know what the future holds for us.”

He said initially, one can control the intake of alcohol but it soon gets to a stage that the individual becomes dependent on it.

“As one gets dependent on alcohol, other ailments including neuropsychiatric complications, liver diseases, heart diseases and diabetes come in… the overall intake of alcohol was not good,” he said.

Dr Osei said the country does not have the capacity to deal with the percentage of people dependent on alcohol if the number increases beyond the current percentage.

“That is why we all need to push the policy which will later be developed into a law to be binding,” he said.

Goerge Kyeremeh, Director, Nursing and Midwifery, representing the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Victor Bampoe, said the harmful use of alcohol causes many problems for the health of individuals, especially children and pregnant women.

He, thus, called for political and societal commitment to ensure a change in social norms and values.

“We all have a responsibility to educate people on the harmful effects alcohol has on the human body and mind, society and the country as a whole,” he said.
Source: Daily Guide

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