News / Africa

Malawi to Restrict Alcohol Consumption

Lameck Masina
A 2009 survey by the World Health Organization on Non Communicable Diseases, or NCDs, and its risk factors shows that 20 percent of all Malawians consume alcohol.
The study indicates that one in five men and one in 50 women drink excessively. Overall, the survey shows that about eight percent of all people of all drinkers consume too much.

Health experts say alcohol abuse causes significant public health problems. Dr Beatrice Mwagomba, the Program Officer for the NCDs and Mental Health in the Ministry of Health,  says "There [are]…major non communicable diseases [like] diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular diseases in general, respiratory diseases as well as cancers. [They include] liver cancer and esophagus cancer or cancer of the throat and there is evidence that alcohol does impact of these three major non communicable diseases.”

The study also shows how alcohol use affects sexual behavior, and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS.

Bazwell Zakeyu is the secretary for the Malawi Alcohol Policy Alliance, a group of NGOs lobbying for the adoption of anti-alcohol legislation. He says the proposed policy doesn’t aim to ban alcohol but reduce its consumption.

“For example [we are looking at] the limitation of hours [for opening and closing of bars and other outlets],"  he says.  "People proposed that in the morning up to sometime around 2 pm people should concentrate on developmental activities, not going to drinking places. Another area is the alcohol content. You understand that right now we have the liquor sachets with very high alcohol content up to 43 percent. So we are thinking that probably the government should see to it that the alcohol content be controlled.”

Zakeyu says the push for the new policy started in 2007 at a meeting between the Ministry of Health’s officials and representatives of the National Alcohol Policy. But the process has been meeting stiff resistance from breweries.

“They are saying that alcohol is an ordinary commodity," he says. "They are also saying that adverts from the alcohol industry are only there to guide people so that they have a better choice [Unlike cigarette packages, there are no health warnings on tins or bottles of alcohol].” 

The breweries also say the draft legislation lacks evidence-based information from within Malawi.  They say that experiences presented were taken from outside the country, claims which Zakeyu denies.

Zakeyu says despite the resistance, he hopes the policy will be adopted with support from government authorities.

Minister of Health Professor David Mphande had recently said the new policy will help restore economic prosperity to households and to the country as a whole.

Listen to report on Malawi's move to restrict alcohol
Listen to report on Malawi's move to restrict alcoholi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid