More efforts are needed at national level to protect people’s right to live free from alcohol and to promote health and development through alcohol prevention. On World Alcohol-Free Day communities in Ghana and around the world join together to celebrate the benefits of the alcohol-free way of life and to encourage decision-makers to do more in order to protect and promote the human right to health and development through alcohol policy solutions.
In 2020, the World Alcohol-Free Day focuses on the benefits of making alcohol-free choices, empowering people to live healthy lives and build sustainable communities. More than 3 billion people or 57% of the global adult population live free from alcohol, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) – many of them living in low- and middle income countries. But the alcohol industry is pushing aggressively to convert children, youth and adults to alcohol consumers and in doing so threatening health, well-being and socio-economic development of countries such as Ghana.
The WHO Global Alcohol Strategy provides guidance for policy-makers in Ghana by encouraging them to support children, youth and adults in their alcohol-free way of life and to protect them from pressures to start consuming alcohol .
The majority of the global adult population live free from alcohol and even in high-income countries where more people consume alcohol, there is now a youth generation coming up that chooses to stay alcohol-free longer, embracing healthier, sustainable lifestyle choices .
On World Alcohol-Free Day 2020, as we celebrate all the benefits from living alcohol-free we call on our political leaders to step up and take decisive action to protect and support all people who want to make healthy choices for themselves, their families, communities and countries and not to expose them to all forms of alcohol as we currently observe in Ghana
Alcohol is a massive obstacle to sustainable development for individuals, communities and entire societies, as it adversely affects 14 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals . Clearly, living free from alcohol and making alcohol-free choices helps promote societal development, economic prosperity and thriving communities.
We call on our government through the Ministry of Health and Food and Drugs Authority to finalize and enact the national alcohol regulations. We recommend a scientifically proven, highly effective highly effective alcohol policy solutions recommended by the WHO , especially as raising alcohol taxes, banning alcohol advertising, and reducing the availability of alcohol in our communities. These solutions help reduce the alcohol burden and non-communicable diseases in Ghana and help promote well-being and happiness through protecting and supporting alcohol abstainers.