Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 October 2019:
The Executive Director of Health Network Sierra Leone, Robert Kondema Kargbo, has called on young people in Sierra Leone to distance themselves from taking alcohol which he warned, would affect their growth.
He made this appeal last week at the commemoration of the World Non-alcoholic Day, held at the British Council Hall, Tower hill, in Freetown, where over 300 young people and officials from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation; the pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone; Sierra Leone police and many other stakeholders were in attendance.
Robert Kondema Kargbo said that the abuse of alcohol is undermining the physical and mental growth of young people, thus killing the nation’s potential workforce.
He stated that because the fight against drugs abuse was unavoidable, his organization has decided to work in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Affairs, the Ministry of Health and the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau to disseminate information, relating to alcohol abuse and it’s negative effects on the country’s productive population.
He said that since 2013, his organization has been studying the effects that alcohol and other drugs are having on “our very dynamic population between the age of 10-35”, adding that young people, particularly the unskilled and unemployed, are not properly educated about alcohol – its contents and the long-term effects on health.
A representative from the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone thanked the Health Network Sierra Leone, for complementing the efforts of the Pharmacy Board in making sure that young people are educated about the harmful use if such substance.
A representative from Africell, Mr Alzie Kamara, encouraged young people to distance themselves from too much alcohol intake because Africell he said is very much concerned about the growth of young people. “For us to do an effective business, we want to see that every young person is healthy because can only then can we succeed in doing business – when young people are in good health”.
A representative from Sierra Leone Police said that they, as Police personnel, particularly the Communication Department have done a lot in sensitizing in various communities, including schools, about the dangers of alcohol consumption. She assured of the Sierra Leone police Force’s commitment to make sure alcohol abuse becomes a thing of the past.
In his key note address, the Director of Communicable Disease in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr Santigie Sesay, said that observing this World Non-alcoholic Day, Health Network Sierra Leone clearly shows the passion they have in promoting young people’s health.
He added that, “for every 20 deaths, one of those deaths is alcohol-related…the Ministry of Health
and Sanitation is planning to put a parliamentary Bill together to control or prevent the excessive use of alcohol in the country”.
Dr Sesay called on other partners to follow Health Network Sierra Leone footsteps in order to minimize the use of alcohol. He noted that if not properly controlled, it might cause damage to the body and therefore called on Health Network Sierra Leone to continue complementing government’s efforts.