WHO-led initiative and action package aim to support global target of reducing harmful use of alcohol by 10% by 2025
28 September, 2018 (NEW YORK, NY): The World Health Organization (WHO) today released SAFER, a new initiative and technical package outlining five high-impact strategies that can help governments reduce the harmful use of alcohol and related health, social and economic consequences.
SAFER is the newest WHO-led roadmap to support governments in taking practical steps to accelerate progress on health, beat noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) through addressing the harmful use of alcohol, and achieve development targets.
“We are proud to introduce SAFER – a package of proven interventions to reduce the harms caused by alcohol, and a new partnership to catalyze global action,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “We need governments to put in place effective alcohol control policy options and public policies to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.”
Alcohol consumption contributes to more than 3 million deaths globally every year and over 5% of the global burden of disease and injury, according to the recently issued WHO Global Status Report (GSR) on Alcohol and Health 2018. It is also a major risk factor for NCDs, including cancers and cardiovascular diseases, communicable diseases such as TB and HIV/AIDS, violence, and injuries. Globally, alcohol consumption is the seventh leading risk factor for premature death and disability.
"With the launch of SAFER, alcohol policy finally emerges from its long hangover,” said Katie Dain, CEO of the NCD Alliance. “Alcohol policy has not been visible on the public health decision-making table for way too long – SAFER changes that and will draw a line in the sand.”