This year as we continue with our work on alcohol abuse prevention, we have done alcohol effects conference with religious leaders. Since we are using community based approach (CBA) religious leaders are key players because they have big influence in the community. The guest of honor for the event was madam Councillor Ritta Mlagala District Council vice chairman.
The Alcohol effects conference
The conference was held at Open University Conference hall on 08th February 2018. Apart from the guest of honor and the religious leaders, two IDYDC board members attended the conference. Our Director welcomed all the participants and welcomed chairman of the board to say a few words before welcoming the guest of honor. It was fitting that the guest of honor have a history with IDYDC as her ward was the first one for us to implement our program and is one of the success story.
Presentation from the doctor
Dr Ally Ngalla from Iringa Regional Referral hospital gave presentation on alcohol and it’s effects on health. The doctor explained the processing of alcohol on human body and what happens when someone is intoxicated with alcohol. The participants got a chance to learn about short and long term effects of alcohol abuse and how alcohol is a risk factors to a lot of diseases. Alcohol can increases chances of getting cancers like, cancers of respiratory system, cancers of the digestive system, hypertension, liver, cirrhosis and many other diseases.
Alcohol and NCDs
Non communicable diseases are largely caused by lifestyle and it is obvious that drinking alcohol can lead to bad lifestyle. Alcohol is a risk factor to many of these NCDs so one way to deal with them is making sure that people stop drinking alcohol. As religious leaders it is easier to tell people to stop drinking alcohol not only because it is a sin but also it is source of many other troubles like these NCDs. According to WHO, Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) kill 40 million people each year. This is very large number and we all have to do something to mitigate this problem.
Religious leaders were very happy to be involved in this fight because it aligns with what they believe. From the conference they agreed to make alcohol abuse one of the must talk agendas like HIV/AIDS. They will find a way to spread this knowledge so that more people can be reached and requested IDYDC to assist in arranging other meetings for religious leaders.