February 28, 2012

Oxford researcher calls for international alcohol-use regulations

Devi Sridhar, a University of Oxford lecturer in global health politics, recently called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to create policies that would regulate alcohol use, ABC News reported.

Sridhar, who is part of the George Center for Healthcare Innovation and a faculty member of the Blavatnik School of Government, wrote a commentary which was published in the journal Nature.

In her commentary, she stated that dangerous drinking is similar to many other global health crises and international safety priorities and should be treated as such. For example, the WHO monitors and puts policies in place for disease outbreaks and tobacco use. She says alcohol use should be treated the same.

“About 2.5 million deaths a year, almost 4 percent of all deaths worldwide, are attributed to alcohol — more than the number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria,” Sridhar says in her commentary.

She did note, however, that there would likely be issues with enforcement of any new alcohol-use regulations. That’s even with international consensus. Even though there would likely be bumps in the road, Sridhar wrote that the WHO should still forge ahead with implementing some regulations for safety’s sake. Ultimately, she says the WHO should make safer consumption of alcohol a public health priority.

The read the full article on ABC News, click here.

What do you think? Should the World Health Organization put policies in place to regulate alcohol use?


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