We have worked on an important press release with our partners in East Africa. I was present at EACA3 last September when EAAPA adopted a new constitution and elected a new board. So, today we issue a crucial press release together on the occasion of the 4th East African Community Health and Scientific Conference.

This is our joint press release:

Press release by East African Alcohol Policy Alliance, Rwanda Alcohol Policy Alliance and IOGT International on the occasion of the 4th EAC Health and Scientific Conference for 27-29 March 2013 in Kigali

The main theme of the three-day Conference is: Regional Health Priorities and Opportunities: Evidence for Action in the Changing Global Financial Situation.

”We and our members from all over the EAC think it is great that this conference takes place and that it is already the fourth time it is being held,” says Moses Waweru, Chairman of the East African Alcohol Policy Alliance (EAAPA).”We need to come together and discuss obstacles to our development, and we need more research and evidence.”

Moses Waweru, Chairman of East African Alcohol Policy Alliance

Moses Waweru, Chairman of East African Alcohol Policy Alliance

”But we also need to make sure that these types of conferences manage to address a comprehensive approach to regional health priorities,” says Aimable Mwananawe, Chairperson of RADAPA. ”In that sense I hope that this conference is not a missed opportunity to address alcohol harm and its impact in the EAC.”

Aimable Mwananawe, Chairperson of RADAPA

Aimable Mwananawe, Chairperson of RADAPA

The Conference has four sub-themes: Achieving the MDGs for Maternal and Child Health; Non-Communicable Diseases and Trauma; Health Systems Strengthening and Quality of Health Care. Five symposiums are also planned, covering subjects of: HIV/ AIDS, sexual and gender based violence, disaster preparedness and tobacco control.

”We agree that sub-themes as well as symposiums are highly relevant. However, we also feel that something might be missing,” says Ms. Kristina Sperkova, Vice President of IOGT International. ”Just last week the WHO Africa Stakeholders Dialogue on NCDs clearly showed that alcohol definitely had the biggest attention in the discussions.”

“In the dire state of the global financial situation, alcohol policies are best buys to improve health and propel societal and economic development because they are cost-effective and have positive impact on many different issues that challenge the EAC today,”says Moses Waweru of EAAPA.

”Knowing all this, EAAPA invites EAC and governments of the Member States to work together on alcohol issues. Together we can find high-impact and cost-effective responses to the alcohol harm in our region.”

Board of EAAPA

Board of EAAPA at the EACA3 conference

For more information please find

the link to our joint press release here

the facts overview of alcohol harm in East Africa, as cross-cutting factor here.