Lawra, (U/W), May 31, GNA - Some residents of Lawra in the Upper West region have urged the government to investigate the causes of high level of alcohol consumption in the region for some remedial measures to be implemented.
At an open health forum, organized by the Lawra District Health Directorate District, a resident, Alhaji Umar Karbo said
He said the consumption of \"Akpeteshie\" had now graduated to a dangerous level and had contributed significantly in destroying many precious human lives in the region.
He said the government should explore the possibility of even banning the sale of Akpeteshie because the negative effect on its victims was indirectly affecting him as they could not play their roles effectively in society.
Alhaji Karbo said his position had nothing to do with his religious beliefs but his interest in stopping the suffering he was seeing around him.
The forum was to find out their views about the quality of health delivery in the region.
Mr. Banoko Sasare, a retired civil servant, said the abuse of akpeteshie was one of the contributing factors to poverty in the region.
He noted that because of situation one could barely engage an elderly person in any fruitful conversation, saying their level of thinking had been affected by the alcohol rendering them unreasonable.
He pointed out that the youth who were the working population had also allowed themselves to be destroyed by alcohol, thereby, rendering many of them \'useless\'.
He said many of the sexual harassment cases recorded in the area these days were influenced by alcoholism.
Mr. Sasare was, however, of the view that a complete ban on the sale of alcohol was not the best solution and called for more education to change people\'s attitude.
He noted that when people were well educated to change their attitudes towards the consumption of alcohol, its sale would gradually fade off from the system.
Mr. Sasare advised the people to rather take \"pito,\" which is locally brewed by their own people in their own land and the products used for the brewing were known to all.
Mr. Francis Don-ib, an alcohol addict, in an interview with the GNA, said he was aware of the health implications associated with the abuse of alcohol but said he could not stop for the fear that he might even die earlier.
He believed he could have lived longer if he had not become an alcoholic and supported the call for the ban to save many other young lives.
Dr. Sebastian Sandaare, Lawra District Director of Health Services, said the consumption of alcohol was a serious challenge that needed to be addressed by all stakeholders in the health sector.
He said alcohol apart from aggravating the poverty level of the people it gave victims chronic liver diseases and promoted malnutrition.
Dr. Sandaare said he would not support its total ban because of the adverse effects it may cause to those who were already addicted to it.
He also called for more public health education to better inform the people about the dangers of alcohol abuse.