Health Ministry starts camp
A Ministry of Public Health campaign is now underway to curb the abuse of alcohol, which was linked to at least nine deaths in September.
Four of those deaths occurred within a four-day period, which renewed calls for urgent interventions. The Ministry of Public Health has since started a campaign to educate the public about the dangers of excessive
In a 49-second video message posted on its Facebook page, the alcohol consumption. Ministry’s Chronic Disease Unit is advising persons to drink responsibly and not to become a “statistic.” It notes the many health issues and behavioural changes associated with alcohol consumption and also highlights its link to social issues, such as domestic violence, as well as road fatalities.
Sunday Stabroek was told that the video will soon be aired on television.
Last month, President David Granger informed that government’s national plan to tackle excessive alcohol consumption is being pioneered by the Ministry and particular focus will be placed on schools.
“I think that is where the habit starts and they are trying to reduce it at the level of school children, so it is expected when children don’t grow up with the habit of drinking alcohol, in excess, they wouldn’t do it when they are adults,” he had said, when asked by this newspaper for an update.
Shortly after taking office in 2015, Granger had described alcohol as “one of two evils” that the country had to contain and he assured that, over time, measures would be put in place to deal with it.
Observers have questioned government’s decision to take on tobacco smoking, when most of the effects of alcohol abuse occur in the short term and have violent consequences.
Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan said two weeks ago that persons must exercise self-restraint when consuming alcohol and understand that such beverages are bad for them. “…It has to do largely with how we cultivate our next generation. We sometimes feel that we could tell our young kids ‘come tek a lil drink’ and we have done two surveys, a school survey and a household survey that proves that children in Guyana start drinking at the age [of] 11 and Guyanese are the biggest binge drinkers in the entire Caribbean. When we tek one, we want two, then three, then four, five and so one. Then we get drunk,” he observed.
According to this newspaper’s records, seven persons died last month in vehicular accidents where the driver was said to be intoxicated; another was killed during a domestic dispute; and in the other case the deceased died as a result of health complications associated with heavy drinking.
West Ruimvelt resident Jason Marques died during the wee hours of last week Sunday, the last day of September, after the car he was in collided with another at the intersection of Middle and Carmichael streets, Georgetown.
Based on the information provided to this newspaper, Marques, a 26-yearold father of two, along with his friends, Mark Jacobs, 17, of Lot 32 Campbellville and Timothy Fairbairn, 26, of Lot 212 Charlotte Street, Georgetown had just left the Palm Court night spot on Main Street and were heading to another popular nightspot in Alberttown when the accident occurred.
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