Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Drink to Forget

Instead of tackling the root causes of why people are driven to drink , to endeavour to solve the social problems that lead to alcoholism , what is capitalism's solution - make booze cheaper .

The solution to problem drinking in some of the poorest parts of Africa is to flood troublesome districts with ultra-low-cost beer, according to the world's biggest alcoholic drinks group Diageo.

Three years ago Diageo persuaded the Kenyan government to collaborate on the initiative by reducing duty on a new budget beer brand, Senator Keg. Results from the project led to government ministers last year waiving all duty on Senator Keg, which sells at about 10p for a 330ml glass - only slightly more than local moonshine. Last week Kenyan officials briefed the World Health Organisation about the benefits of Senator Keg, although they conceded it remained a costly drink for the very poorest communities.

Alcohol abuse is not a significant cause of society's problems but is a result of those problems.

The Executive Director of Butabika National Psychiatric Referral Hospital, Dr Fred Kigozi said

"Alcohol and drugs do not solve anything but simply enhance the problem by introducing another burden,"

In 2005, the World Health Organisation ranked Uganda as the leading consumer of alcohol in the world. Per capita consumption is 19.5 litres ( Luxembourg at 17.54 litres and the Czech Republic at 16.21 litres. )

No comments: