CSOs, Faith Community Persuade Government to Adopt Alcohol Policy

December 20, 2016 by Staff Reporter

Civil Society Organizations and the church community have embarked on a campaign to persuade government to adopt and implement the long awaited alcohol policy in Malawi.

indexccMalawi Alcohol Policy Alliance (MAPA) national chairperson Felix Chikalira recently appealed to law makers to treat the matter with urgency.

“Meanwhile, the country does not have any policy that provides proper guidelines and references to handling alcohol related issues,” he noted.

According to Chikalira, ministry of Health presented the policy to Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) in 2015 waiting to be tabled in Parliament.

In 2007, the Alcohol industry initiated the alcohol policy. After the CSOs discovered that the alcohol industry was the main beneficiary, it was quashed and a new one started being drafted in 2008.

Among others, the policy includes nature and positioning of drinking places, age and pricing of alcohol.

According to a Zodiak Broadcasting Station report which was aired on 30th September 2016, almost 20 people die from alcohol related complications in Malawi.

Representing the faith community, Nkhoma synod’s church and society, George Chaguga said the synod has drafted a Norwegian Aid funded project proposal titled “Masculinity, Alcohol and HIV” which aims at fighting alcoholism amongst men.

“The church has been greatly affected by alcoholism. Hence the synod came up with an idea having a project to fight the problem.

“In some cultures, drinking is mandatory to men. Men who do not drink are not considered as men. We are also linking the high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate to alcohol. The project proposal seeks to break the three (Masculinity, Alcohol and HIV) in order to save a man,” he highlighted.(story by Malawi News Agency)

 

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