The Alcohol Policy Alliance-Ghana (GhanAPA) has called on the Government to expedite the passage of Alcohol Control Legislation to drastically reduce road/motor traffic accidents in Ghana.
The call followed statistics from the National Road Safety Authority for the first half of the year, 2023, published in a national daily on Thursday, July 13, 2023.
This was in a joint statement by Mr Banjamin Anabila, the Chairman of GhanAPA and Director of the Institute of Leadership and Development, and Alhaji Sulley Sumani, Coordinator, of GhanAPA.
The statement said even though the statistics indicated a reduction of road crashes for the first half of the year by 214 or 16 per cent as compared to the same period last year, 1,086 people died out of 6,904 reported cases of road crashes from January to June this year.
“This is so disturbing and alarming and that some stringent measures must be put in place to curb it and that is the call for the Alcohol Regulations,” it said.
The statement pointed out that alcohol consumption was one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity through road/motor crashes accident.
According to the World Health Organization, globally the harmful use of alcohol was a causal factor in more than 200 diseases and injury conditions and worldwide, three million deaths every year result from the harmful use of alcohol. This represents 5.3 per cent of all deaths.
“Overall, 5.1 per cent of the global burden of disease and injury is attributable to alcohol, as measured in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). A sizable proportion of the disease burden attributable to alcohol consumption arises from unintentional and intentional injuries, including those due to road traffic crashes, violence, and suicide. Fatal alcohol-related injuries tend to occur in younger age groups.”
The statement said since the development and passage of the Ghana Alcohol Policy in 2016 which was derived from the Public Health Act 851, Ghana has not been able to enforce some level of regulations on alcohol due to the lack of an alcohol regulation/legislation.
“In as much as the Motor Traffic and Transportation Department of the Ghana Police is doing its best with the random breath alcohol test with some limited Breathalyzer, the road crashes on our road will continue to remain with us because there are drinking spots and alcohol spots dotted around our lorry parks and institutions which is against international best practice,” it stated.
The statement hinted that the Alcohol Policy Alliance-Ghana with some civil society organizations have been advocating alcohol control regulations/legislation, saying; “As we
believe that the passage of the legislation will give the backing to the relevant authority to enforce the regulations to reduce the carnage on our roads in order to reduce morbidity and mortality.”
“The GhanAPA is by this statement calling on the Ministry of Health, Attorney General, and Parliamentary Select Committees on Health and Subsidiary legislation to consider the Alcohol Control Regulations and swiftly expedite the processes when it gets their respective offices.