Health experts have warned that excessive alcohol drinking is one of the major risk factors for non communicable diseases which are on the increase in the country.

Ministry of health programme manager for non communicable diseases and mental health Dr. Beatrice Mwagomba cited a study conducted in 2010 as having revealed that hypertension and diabetes are on the increase with a clear link to excessive alcohol drinking.

Dr. Beatrice Mwagomba said the survey revealed that non communicable diseases are on the increase in the country with one proven risk factor contributing to the increase being excessive alcohol drinking.

She said excessive alcohol drinking causes heart diseases, cancer and diabetes just to mention a few non communicable diseases.

Dr. Mwagomba, however, said realizing the health threat, and while her ministry continues to work on the draft National Alcohol Policy, some measures have been put in place to control the situation.

She said, among other things, the ministry is conducting awareness campaigns in selected health facilities where experts provide counseling on the diseases is held on those who wish to quit alcohol drinking.

Several players have been pushing government to adopt the policy by making it a piece of legislation in order to control the increase of such diseases as well as reduce social and economical problems associated with excessive alcohol drinking.

Drug Fight Malawi programmes manager Mr. Nelson Zakeyu said the evidence based alcohol policy sessions will accord both state and non state actors to get a broader picture of the alcohol situation in Malawi and why the country needs a piece of legislation on this.

While the draft national alcohol policy still awaits endorsement, the alcohol industry has been challenging the document arguing they were not fully involved in the process of formulation.

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