Speaking in Lilongwe on Tuesday during the opening of a planning meeting to strategies on advocacy process to the National Alcohol Policy, the Synod’s Moderator, Vasco Kachipa, said there is need to have the policy in place to reduce the harms associated with the substance.

“Alcohol harm has affected the church in many ways and every such time it becomes a matter of concern to us. It affects us every time our people are ridden with non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, liver and heart disorders. If affects us every time our people are put at risk to contract infectious disease; because alcohol facilitates such risky behaviour…..The National Alcohol Policy is therefore a tool for the protection of public health interests of our people,” Kachipapa said.

He added: “There no better comfort today than to know the Church is speaking with one voice on the National Alcohol Policy. There is no better comfort today than to know the church has made one choice, one position: formalise the National Alcohol Policy and draft an alcohol bill for enactment.”

A draft policy was submitted to the Ministry of Health 2011. However, since then it has not been adopted.

Church and Society Programme of the Nkhoma Synod, with support from the Norwegian Church Aid and FORUT is implementing Masculinity, Alcohol and HIV Aids project. – By Macdonald Thom

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