World Health Organization To Tackle Alcohol Problem

The Health Assembly endorsed a six-year action plan to tackle what are now the leading threats to human health: noncommunicable diseases. These diseases – particularly cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases – caused 60% of all deaths globally in 2005 (estimated at 35 million deaths). Low- and middle-income countries are the worst affected by these diseases which are largely preventable by modifying four common risk factors: tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol.

Delegates also requested WHO – through a resolution – to intensify its work to curb harmful use of alcohol, which is the fifth leading risk factor for death and disability in the world. They called upon WHO to develop a global strategy for this purpose. The work on the strategy will start immediately and Member States will be consulted throughout the drafting process. The resolution also requests the Director- General to consult with intergovernmental organizations, health professionals, nongovernmental organizations and economic operators on ways they could contribute to reducing harmful use of alcohol. World Health Assembly sets bold new action for WHO

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