Uganda: Cabinet Approves Alcohol Control Policy
The cabinet of Uganda has approved the alcohol control policy which aims to prevent and reduce alcohol harm in the country by regulating alcohol and thereby reducing alcohol consumption.
Uganda Alcohol Policy Alliance and all partners are excited about the approved policy,” says Dr David Kalema, chairperson of UAPA.
The finally approved policy is an indication that our protracted struggle to protect Ugandans from alcohol harm is finally yielding dividends. We shall now advocate for speedy enactment of the new alcohol law to support the current National Alcohol Control Policy.”
The new policy aims to reduce alcohol harm through the following measures:
- Strengthening the regulation production, packaging, distribution, marketing, sale and consumption of all alcohol beverages;
- Raising community awareness about the magnitude and determinants of the health, and the social and economic problems associated with alcohol use;
- Enhancing capacity and increasing technical support for prevention of alcohol and management of associated alcohol disorders.
In 2017, Parliament revived a private member’s Bill that seeks to regulate the alcohol industry. The Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill, 2016, was brought forward by Betty Nambooze, the Mukono Municipality Member of Parliament. IOGT International and our members and partners have contributed substantially to the formulation and advancement of the alcohol policy over the years. For instance, MP Nambooze, her team and other experts attended IOGT International’s conference in Sri Lanka in 2016, to study alcohol control in the country and to improve technical understanding of alcohol policy matters.
The new alcohol control policy shows the government of Uganda’s commitment to tackling alcohol harm using evidence-based interventions.
The new policy is now needed more than ever in Uganda. A recent survey found that 61% of the population started alcohol use before they were 18 years and 31% started before they were 14 years old. The proposed mechanisms through the new policy will reduce alcohol harm if implemented properly.