The Ghana Alcohol Policy Alliance (GhanAPA), a non-governmental organisation has called on government to take concrete steps to ban alcohol advertisement in sporting activities in the country.
It said by so doing, the government would be saving children and future generations from the harmful effect of alcohol intake while showing commitment to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 3.5.
The call was made in a statement signed by Mr Benjamin Anabila, the Chairman of the GhanAPA and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Thursday, to mark the ‘NO Alcohol Day 2018’, on the theme: ‘Ban Alcohol Advertising in Sport.’
The members of the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA), East African Alcohol Policy Alliance (EAAPA) and the West African Alcohol Policy Alliance (WAAPA) and their partners commenced the commemoration of the Day on October 3.
The statement said alcohol was one of the most heavily promoted products in the world and contributed to normalisation of its use, which reinforced the current harmful drinking culture among the youth.
It said alcohol advertisement through sport communicated strong message, which makes children associate sport to alcohol and had had an impact on players and spectators, especially young people, who take to drinking to the detriment of their health.
‘The GhanAPA, will like to state that alcohol and sports have no relationship whatsoever, and that, advertisement of alcohol in sport should be banned in Ghana,’ the statement said.
It said the Ferreira-Borges records showed that in 2012, alcohol was responsible for 6.4 per cent of all deaths and 4.7 per cent of all disability-adjusted life years in the African Region, and that, its social and economic costs to the community was insurmountable.
‘Alcohol is responsible for 3.3 million deaths annually worldwide, and is a causal factor in more than 200 diseases and injury conditions, according to World Health Organisation 2014 Report,’ the statement said.
It said according to Gore, Bloem et al Report, globally, the level of harm attributable to alcohol use compare to that of tobacco, it affected young people in particular, leading to death and disability for males between the ages of 15 and 24 and that 6.2 per cent of all male deaths worldwide were attributable to alcohol, compared to 1.1 per cent of female deaths.
The statement said alcohol consumption hindered efforts to development through increased health care cost and decreased productivity whilst worsening health inequalities and exacerbates poverty, as the poorest people divert spending to alcohol from essentials such as food, education and health care.
It said the implementation on the ban on alcohol advertising was recognized as a far reaching recommendation in protecting children and future generation’s exposure to alcohol.
‘There is no reason not to act now to protect children and future generations against aggressive alcohol advertising in sports in Ghana. The Ghana Alcohol Policy Alliance strongly urges the government to take the necessary action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 3.5 and the Global (Non-communicable diseases) NCDs Voluntary target on alcohol by banning alcohol advertising in sport.
‘The GhanAPA is ready and willing to offer support to the government to benefit fully from the implementation of the ‘Global Strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol’ and the ‘Regional strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol in the Africa Region’ to save lives.’