Liberia hosted the 2023 WAAPA’s Global Alcohol Action Plan Advocacy Tour; 5th – 7th December 2023
At a 3-day Global Alcohol Action Plan Advocacy Tour and Site Visit to Liberia, Mr. Issah Ali; Head of Secretariat of West African Alcohol Policy Alliance (WAAPA) together with Mr. Sheriff Abdul; Chairman of the Liberia Alcohol Policy Alliance (LAPA) commenced the tour with a radio discussion at the ECOWAS Radio in Monrovia, where Mr. Ali congratulated the government and people of Liberia on the development, adoption and official launch of the National Alcohol Policy (NAP) 2023. He further advocated for the implementation of the Liberian National Alcohol Policy 2023 and call for the development of a Legislation to prevent alcohol harm in Liberia.
As part of the tour Mr. Ali held a workshop with members of the Liberia Alcohol Policy Alliance (LAPA) where he highlighted the key elements of the World Health Organization (WHO) “African Regional Framework for Implementing the Global Alcohol Action Plan, 2022-2023”. He shed more light on the current situation on alcohol, issues and challenges, vision, goal, objectives, targets of the framework, guiding principles, priority intervention and actions of implementing the framework of the Global Alcohol Action Plan (GAAP) 2022-2030 in the WHO African Region.
Mr. Ali noted that Alcohol is a toxic and psychoactive substance with dependence-producing properties and accounts for 5.1% of all deaths in the African Region. He added that there is a high level of lifetime abstainers of 57.5%, persons who not consume alcohol, he noted that some issues and challenges being faced in the region includes the lack of national alcohol control policies, lack of national inter-sectorial coordination mechanism, Weak health care systems and interferences from the alcohol industry. He added that the Vision and Goal of the African Regional Framework on GAAP is to have an African Region free from the harmful use of alcohol (free from alcohol harm) and to significantly reduce morbidity, disability and mortality due to alcohol consumption in the African Region by 2030.
He highlighted that the objective of the Regional Framework is to increase implementation and enforcement of high-impact policy options and interventions through legislation/regulations, while some guiding principles are Evidence-based approach, empowering of people and communities, human rights approach and protection from commercial interests. Mr. Ali concluded by stating that some priority interventions and actions of the framework includes the establishment of partnerships and multi-sectorial coordination mechanism, development of multi-sectorial alcohol harm reduction policies.
As part of the workshop, participants identified some aspects of the GAAP the LAPA together with the government is implementing. The 2024 Country Focus, Programme of Work and next steps for LAPA was also discussed.
At the capacity building workshop, participants were also taken through the WHO SAFER initiatives, Global Best Buys and the Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2018 (Liberia Country Report).
On the final day Mr. Issah Ali together with LAPA Secretariat paid a courtesy visit to the Liberian Ministry of Health. During the meeting, key issues discussed included the implementation of the National Alcohol Strategic Plan, public/stakeholder sensitization on the NAP 2023, development of an alcohol legislations and a National High-Level Forum on Alcohol Policy.