WHO Regional Technical Consultation on a Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol

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Technical consultation on a Global Strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol

The African Region has played a central role in the process leading up to the adoption of the resolution WHA61.4 (2008) on "Strategies to reduce the harmful use of alcohol". Specifically, the initiative came from two countries in the Region - Kenya and Rwanda.

As mandated by this resolution the Secretariat of the World Health Organization organized technical regional consultations with representatives of Member States in all WHO regions. The technical consultation for Africa took place in Brazzaville, Congo, 3-5 March 2009, at the WHO Regional Office for the African Region.

In the African Region 42 countries participated in the Regional consultation that took place in Brazzaville in March 2009. A working document was circulated to all Member States and provided the basis for discussions. Member States were invited to provide their views on possible areas for global action and coordination, and on how the strategy could best take national needs and priorities into account. Key-points on the possible policy options, strategies and interventions available to reduce the harmful use of alcohol were discussed. The document is now available and can be downloaded.

The process of consultation

At the global level, several steps have been taken in order to ensure the effective collaboration with Member States, including those of the African Region, on developing the draft strategy. Two different processes have taken place so far: 1) consultative activities on ways to contribute to reduce harmful use of alcohol (a public hearing and consultations with Member States and other stakeholders, NGO's, economic operators, health professionals and international organizations) and 2) Six regional technical consultations with all Member States for the development of the draft strategy.

As a result of the outcomes of the consultations and available evidences, and taking into consideration the outcomes of the consultative process with stakeholders, a working document for developing a draft strategy was developed and it has been sent for comments. The proposed document is intended to be the basis for continued collaboration and consultation with Member States. An informal consultation with Member States will take place on 8 October 2009.

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For more information please consult the web-site: http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/activities/globalstrategy/en/index.html