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Influx of ‘’Papa Drink It, Mama Happy’’ Killer Drink in Sierra Leone

Influx of ‘’Papa Drink It, Mama Happy’’ Killer Drink in Sierra Leone

STANDARDS BUREAU, MOHS, TRADE MINISTRY INDICTED

Citizens in Sierra Leone have slammed the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Standards Bureau and the Ministry of Trade and Industry for keeping mute over the production and influx of harmful alcoholic drinks in Sierra Leone.

The above government institutions which are established by law to ensure that drinks, food, clothes and other consumer products are of national and international standards; either do not care, or care less.

This situation has become worrisome to many Sierra Leoneans who fall prey to the unruly behavior of youth caused by drug abuse .

The ‘Papa Drink it Mama Happy’ is the new alcoholic beverage produced by NICOM-SL, a local beverage  manufacturing situated at Goderich in Freetown, which has put the future of our youthful populace in jeopardy and creating avenue in gradually turning Sierra Leone to  strange state.

The future of our youths is being destroyed by some of these local alcohol producers especially NICOM-SL, the cheap drink in this sachet/rubber and the enticing way of branding it to attract consumers who will end of becoming something else should be worrisome to our government and other partners.

This is part of the combination of Pampas Tea and other hard drugs that are daily consume by our youths in various part of the country at a cheaper rate.

There is need for the Government to not only fully enforce the existing laws on alcohol, but to also enact new ones in a bid to minimize the abuse of alcohol among young people in the country.

Statistics have shown that many of the deaths amongst young people are either alcohol related or gruesome accidents from drink-driving which is very alarming for our country at this point in time.

The deaths of Sierra Leoneans through road accidents and the maiming of many Sierra Leoneans have had disastrous economic implications on their families and the country as a whole.

The unruly behaviour of young people that sometimes results to stabbing and consequently deaths is caused by alcohol and drug addiction. The WHO report on the increase intake of alcohol and its ramifications note that over 2.5 million deaths are alcohol related and 320,000 of these are people between the ages of 15-29 years.

According to the coroner of the Government Mortuary in Freetown, alcohol is the third leading cause of poor health around the world, he therefore appealed to Government to support his Office of the Coroner Technician with office space, finance and mobility to raise an intensive campaign to reinforce the social norms that people below 18 years are not allowed to drink alcohol and further raise awareness over the negative results of drinking hard substance of alcohol.

Sinneh Mr. Kamara informed that alcohol has psychological and physical effects on consumers and frequent drinking can lead to alcoholism, noting that it is because of the threat posed to the health of nations that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is advocating for the reduction of the abuse of alcohol globally.

On the Health implications of alcohol on the human system, the Consultant Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma said in 2008 during the World Health Assembly (WHA) held in Geneva, Switzerland, a proposal was made by India for a global alcohol-free-day to draw attention to the health risks associated with alcohol abuse. Though this day was not officially declared, yet member states have been observing that day ever since.

In respect of the campaign against abuse of alcohol, the Office of the Coroner Technician proposed several recommendations for action by the Government as follows:

  • To prohibit the sale of alcohol to anyone under the age of 18;
  • Government to implement laws to prevent alcohol abuse and alcoholism;
  • To prohibit the sale of alcohol to anyone under the age of 18;
  • Review of the licensing act and other regulations on alcohol use,
  • Preventing harmful alcohol consumption,
  • Preventing young people from becoming psychologically or physically dependent on alcohol

The contents of the alcoholic products produced need to be assessed to ensure they maintain standards that will not affect the health of the population and this is where the Standards Bureau will actively come in to provide technical support.

By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara

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