Alcohol is a major obstacle to achieving sustainable development goals

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17, 2017 – Alcohol is becoming a major obstacle to achieving Sustainable Development Goals and Development.

Currently 11.7 percent which is approximately 929,524 youths aged between 15-24 use alcohol in Kenya and 13.6 per cent approximately 2,720,000 adults aged between 15 to 65 years.

The revelations by the Dr. Joseph Kibachio, Head of the Division of Non-Communicable Diseases Unit, also show that Alcohol has become a major risk factor to Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs), a structural driver to both TB and HIV/AIDS epidemic and a major contributor to road injuries and fatalities and domestic violence against women.

Dr. Kibachio who was addressing the Reduction of Alcohol Consumption in Kenya Sensitization Stakeholders Meeting on Wednesday, observed that Alcohol kills 3.3 million people worldwide and because of its multiple public health social and economic impact, it is an obstacle to achieving 12 out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

According to NACADA 6557 alcohol related deaths occurred in Kenya in 2010. In 2011 the deaths dropped to 5395 but rose again to 7146 in 2012.

Dr. Kibachio revealed that Kenya is experiencing an epidemiological transitioning in its disease burden from infectious to non-communicable conditions and one of the NCD steps are to determine the prevalence and determinants for the four major behavioral risk factors for the NCDS, that is tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet, and physical  inactivity.

“Alcohol is an obstacle to development and alcohol policy for sustainable development goals which means development for all. People must lead healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages,” he noted.

The stakeholder meeting dubbed “Alcohol Use an Obstacle to Sustainable Development” aims at increasing awareness on the health, social and economic effects of alcohol use; sensitizing stakeholders on the global and regional strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol; identifying the gaps and opportunities in the National strategies for prevention of harmful use of alcohol including control of advertising, promotion and sponsorship and providing a platform for stakeholders to update each other on synergize efforts  towards suppressing  alcohol consumption.