In May this year we had an activity on our Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program in Ifunda ward, Iringa rural. We conducted training on alcohol effects in four villages namely Kibena, Bandabichi, Ifunda and Mibikimitali. The training aimed at bringing awareness about alcohol, the good use, short and long term effects.
Alcohol effects: Community Based Approach
Using the community based approach we met with village council members, influential people, local brewers and alcohol users and had an open debate. We allow people to give their views on alcohol whether they think it is good for them and how much do they think is moderate drinking. The group discuss alcohol effects socially, economically and on health. These discussions help to bring the community together as everyone try to give views on his/her point of view. This helps to eliminate blame and make them think as one community not as brewers or alcohol users or leaders and finally come up with best solution.
What about Health?
In the session Dr Alinanuswe Ngalla who is also an expert in mental health gives a lesson on alcohol effects on health. He helps to clarify the common myths about alcohol like drinking beer after delivery to recover lost blood. The Doctor explained how alcohol contribute in mental cases, cancer, liver disease and many other diseases too. In all the villages that we conducted these training many of the attendees have lauded the Dr’s session. They now understand in details how alcohol is processed and which body parts are affected short term and long term.
We taught villagers how to calculate alcohol consumption ratio for women and men in order to drink responsibly. This ratio can also help the brewers to know how much they should produce per day. It has been a common tendency for brewers to spill the remaining unsold alcohol which is a waste of resources.
Johnnie Nkoma our Director, in his session he explained how important it is for the local brewers to unite and be organised. When local brewers have an understanding it is easier to give each other turns to produce according to the need. This helps others to engage in other economic activities which can help discourage them to continue producing alcohol. Mr Nkoma also reminded them that it is their responsibility to protect their customers by observing hygiene and limit alcohol abuse.
Our sincere thanks to IOGT-NTO Movement for their continued support which make these activities possible. We also appreciate the support from the government through Ifunda ward office by allowing us to implement our program in their area.