News / Africa

Malawi to Restrict Alcohol Consumption

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid