Health Min­istry starts camp

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Stabroek News Sunday - - LETTERS -

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.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice re­ports, the ac­ci­dent oc­curred at ap­prox­i­mately 1.50am. The po­lice ex­plained that mo­tor­car PRR 4249, driven by a res- ide Co no wh jee ce Str dri at res

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Co Ho Pu St Co ap ac Cr Se

Ak St ret ing To bir of ac aro we the Ho pr Pu ted (IC fol

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Khem­raj Ram­jat­tan

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