Myanmar: Rising Mental Health Issues Linked to Alcohol
There is an increase in the number of mental health patients seeking treatment in hospitals in Myanmar. Most of the cases reported are related to alcohol consumption.
The data come from Ministry of Health and Sports’ report about latest development during the previous three years.
According to an official of the Ministry of Health and Sports:
- The number of hospitalized patients increased from over 36,000 in 2012 to over 86,000 in 2017 (an increase from 2.4% to 3%) and the root cause is alcohol consumption.
- Alcohol addiction increased around 2.5 fold, from 2013 to 2018.
It [alcohol consumption] becomes a health problem for the country. Due to alcohol consumption, there are quarrels and traffic accidents.
One in seven deaths aged between 20 and 30 is linked to alcohol consumption,” said the official from the Ministry of Health and Sports of Myanmar, as per Eleven.
According to the World Health Organization, over 3 million people die due to alcohol consumption annually around the world.
Alcohol policy in Myanmar
The WHO reports, total per capita alcohol consumption in Myanmar has significantly increased from 2010 to 2016 and is at 4.8 liters, which is above the WHO South-East Asian Regional average.
Myanmar is a country at the high end for years of life lost due to alcohol. Annually over 12,500 people in Myanmar die due to alcohol related liver cirrhosis. Alcohol use disorders are also higher in Myanmar comparative to the regional average.
Despite the significant and growing alcohol harm in the country, Myanmar lacks a comprehensive national alcohol control policy. The country urgently needs policy encompassing WHO best buys and the SAFER package to drive down consumption and curb the alcohol harm.