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Trauma is one of the top ten causes of male admission in hospitals which most of the time is related to alcohol abuse.

This was said by the Minister of Health, Dr Pinkie Manamolela when addressing stakeholders at a two-day meeting to discuss and share inputs on the national alcohol policy. The meeting started on Wednesday 12th at the ministry's headquarters in Maseru.

Dr Manamolela said according to police reports produced since 2007 to date, most accidents which occurred were associated with harmful alcohol usage hence the need to control the use of alcohol through the policy.

She added that the policy will amongst others regulate the content and volume of alcohol, marketing and promotion, increasing the minimum purchasing age as well as to have effective enforcement systems.

She highlighted that harmful use of alcohol is a global problem which involves both individual and social development and causes harm far beyond the physical and psychological health of a drinker.

Dr Manamolela mentioned that harmful drinking is a major determinant for non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular, cirrhosis of liver and various cancers while it is also associated with several infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections.

'This is because alcohol consumption weakens the immune system and has a negative effect on patientís adherence to Anti Retroviral Treatment'.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) harmful use of alcohol results in 2.5 million deaths each year in which 320,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 29 die from alcohol related causes, resulting to nine percent of all deaths in that age group.

The workshop which is attended by various stakeholders in alcohol abuse prevention issues ends on Thursday. The national alcohol policy draft which is being discussed was first developed in 2007 and was reviewed in February this year.

Source: LENA 12/09/2012