Speech by Dr Kasai on the implementation of National policy on prevention of alcohol related harms up to 2020

Dr. Takeshi Kasai
7 May 2014 , Ha Noi

Vice Minister, Mr Nguyen Thanh Long;
Distinguished guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen, colleagues and friends;

It is a great pleasure for me to be here today and on behalf of WHO in Viet Nam I would like to congratulate the Ministry of Health and the Government of Viet Nam with the recent approval of the National policy on prevention of alcohol related harms up to 2020.

Harmful use of alcohol is responsible for more than 2.2 million deaths world-wide, an equivalent of more than 6,000 deaths each day. Harmful use of alcohol is also a major risk factor causing NCDs globally and in Viet Nam. More than 50% global deaths due to NCDs can be attributed to misuse of alcohol.

Alcohol use in Viet Nam is prevalent, especially among males. It’s estimated that 70% of Vietnamese males drink alcohol, and 1 in 4 uses at harmful level which is an equivalent of more than 6 glasses of “Bia Hoi” a day.

The National policy on prevention of alcohol related harms up to 2020 has set out concrete group of actions for effectively addressing alcohol misuse. These groups of actions include:

  • controlling of supply
  • controlling of demand (including drink driving prevention), and
  • consequences mitigation measures

For effective implementation of this National policy, efforts from the Ministry of Health will not be sufficient. Other key Ministries must be involved in the implementation of this policy including: Ministries of Industry & Trade; Finance, Public Security, Culture, Sports & Tourism, Communication among others. Most importantly, strong leadership from the highest level of the Government of Viet Nam will ensure effective implementation of this important policy.

WHO is committed to provide technical support for the prevention of alcohol related harms in Viet Nam through the implementation of this National policy as well as the development of a comprehensive legal framework for effective control of this issue.

On behalf of the WHO in Viet Nam, we look forward to continuing our strong cooperation with relevant partners to achieve our common goal of building a healthy and lively Viet Nam.

Dr. Takeshi Kasai

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