By OLIVER SAMBOKO
THERE is need for stakeholders to come together and find a lasting solution to the problem of alcohol abuse by youths in the country, Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr. Abel Kabalo has said.
He said the harmful use of alcohol represented a challenge of negative effects on a range of critical social and economic issues in Zambia.
He said there was, therefore, need to curb the menace which he said should be urgently dealt with before more lives are lost.
“As Ministry we are concerned with the rampant abuse of dangerous alcoholic drinks commonly known as JUNTA by youths in the country and hence for stakeholders to come together to find a solution,” he said.
Dr. Kabalo said JUNTA had caused a lot of social nuisance in the country and urged the partakers of the illicit drinks to desist from doing so because they were not only putting their lives at great risk but also exposing others to danger.
He said JUNTA was not only dangerous to one’s health but also was responsible for the high number of deaths among the consumers especially the youths who were the major partakers of the illicit drinks.
Dr. Kabalo warned that consumption of JUNTA was major causer of liver, kidney and brain damage and ultimately death among consumers adding that it was also responsible for the high number of Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases in the country.
“Consumption of JUNTA is not only responsible for health complications like liver, Kidney and brain damage but also behind the high number of GBV cases been recorded in the country,” he said.
Alcohol abuse is associated with unsafe sex, spread of HIV/AIDS, loss of health due to accidents and violence, Gender-Based Violence (GBV), break down of family harmony and violation of rights of children and instigation of acts of crime.
The alcohol beverage industry also makes significant contribution to the economy of Zambia. Last year, Government launched the National Alcohol Policy and Implementation Plan aimed at finding a lasting solution to the problem of alcohol abuse in the country.