The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released the first draft of their global action plan to strengthen implementation of the Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol endorsed in 2010.
Dr Sadie Boniface, Head of Research, Institute of Alcohol Studies & Visiting Researcher, King’s College London, said:
“Following on from WHO’s 2010 Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol, WHO has released a first draft of their global action plan to strengthen implementation of the strategy. This draft is set to be discussed with relevant stakeholders next week at the Third WHO Global Forum on Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours.
“Media coverage has centered on one phrase in the 33-page draft action plan. This phrase was used in an introduction to one of the sections and is not one of the proposals.
“WHO’s Proposed Actions for Member States include preventing drinking during pregnancy and preventing foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (bottom of p17). There is no proposal to promote abstinence among women of childbearing age.
“We also have to remember this is a draft report.
“Of course, alcohol should be avoided completely if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
“WHO has long advocated for evidence-based policies to reduce alcohol harm, for example through the ‘SAFER’ initiative.
“It is a shame that this one phrase in the report has hoovered up attention. This is the launch of an ambitious plan to address alcohol harm, and alcohol is the top risk factor globally for mortality among 15–49 year olds.”
‘Global alcohol action plan 2022-2030 to strengthen implementation of the Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol: First draft’ by the World Health Organisation was posted in June 2021
All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:
Dr Sadie Boniface: “I work at the Institute of Alcohol Studies which receives funding from the Alliance House Foundation.”