In a country with 357,000 people 15 years old and above engaging in heavy drinking, Issah Ali believes there is need for a stronger national focus on prevention and on keeping people healthy.
“While it’s astounding that the per capita consumption of pure alcohol among heavy drinkers in Ghana stood at 20 litres of pure alcohol in 2010, we are working hard to change these statistics and protect these drinkers from the harmful effects of alcohol,” said Mr Ali.
Issah Ali is the executive director of Vision of Alternative Development (VALD), a non-government organisation in the Republic of Ghana which supports local developments and initiatives in advocating for tobacco control and health issues across all levels of society.
In his Global Alcohol Policy Conference (GAPC) presentation, Strengthening Ghana’s Alcohol Regulations, Mr Ali addressed the evidence-based processes used to strengthen Ghana’s alcohol regulations and reduce the number of vulnerable people who have access to alcohol.
“In examining global best practice, we were able to strengthen previous weak provisions on marketing and vested interest in the alcohol Legislative Instrument, so they can now meet global best practice standards,” said Mr Ali.
Mr Ali’s second presentation, Exposing Guinness underage drinking awareness campaign in high schools in Ghana, outlined effective ways of integrating social media in alcohol policy advocacy among youth in West Africa.
In this short video, filmed at GAPC 2017 in Melbourne, Mr Ali will share some insights about his work and how Ghana’s Government, in the absence of a legal framework to minimise alcohol harm and health risks, has implemented necessary the administrative steps to minimise alcohol-related harm.