ZwNews Chief Correspondent

Some global health organisations have called on world leaders engaged at the United General Assembly 2018, in New York to enact life saving policies that regulate alcohol production, availability, and consumption.

In a report titled ‘trouble brewing,’ four major global health organisations, Vital Strategies, Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (NCD-Alliance), and Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA), say alcohol is a leading cause of deaths and disability worldwide, but governments have not responded to the issue with the seriousness it deserves.

The report says it is estimated that about 3 million people die every year as a result of harmful use of alcohol, according to the Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health released this month by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Alcohol have been identified as a leading risk factor for premature deaths and disability among people between ages 15 and 49.

“World governments have the opportunity to prevent millions of deaths from harmful use of alcohol every year,” says Dr Adam Karpati senior Vice-President, Public Health Programs at Vital Strategies.

The ‘trouble brewing’ report points out action steps that governments and the global health community can take to reduce alcohol’s social, health, and economic harms.

Globally, harmful use of alcohol is the fifth leading risk factor of premature deaths and disability, among other Non-Communicable diseases like cancer and cardiovascular diseases. It has also been linked to increased chances for contracting HIV/AIDS, suicides, homicides, sexual violence, and fatal road crashes.

“Alcohol can be toxic, carcinogenic, and addictive,” says Katie Dain, CEO of the NCD-Alliance.

Some of the recommendations, pointed out include a serious approach and effective alcohol controls, on who buys, an increase in excise tax to limit affordability, and regulate the availability of alcohol, i.e when, how, and to whom it is sold.

The ‘trouble brewing’ was written to provoke discussion and prompt action on harmful use of alcohol, and advocates for support of WHO’s work to reduce global burden on preventable diseases.