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Lesotho: Training session held on evidence-based alcohol policies
“Prevention of alcohol problems is a leadership issue for the whole nation. The issue must be brought to the top of our political agenda”, says Lesotho’s Honourable Minister of Tourism, M. Ramaili (picture left). Lesotho’s alcohol policy will now be revised.
The training session on evidence-based alcohol policies, which was held in the end of March, was part of a process to revise and improve the existing alcohol policy of Lesotho. Around 30 participants from government agencies and NGOs took part in a three-day program based on the book “Alcohol No Ordinary Commodity”. By their commitment, their competence and by active participation the participants contributed towards a successful training with a high level of energy.
Ms Ramaili made reference to the existing National Alcohol Policy from 2007: “This policy has many shortcomings and gaps. Alcohol is not linked to major development challenges of our country, like poverty and HIV/AIDS. It lacks a public health approach in order to be effective. And it does not address a number of critical issue; like regulation of alcohol marketing”. She stressed that good plans and policies are not enough in itself. Talking will not solve the problem. Implementation is the key to effective prevention of alcohol problems.
The alcohol policy training session in Lesotho is the fifth of its kind. Previous trainings have been held in Malawi, Botswana, Namibia and Tchad, organized by Blue Cross Norway, International Federation of Blue Cross and FORUT Norway. Experiences from these trainings will be used to produce a training package on evidence-based alcohol policies which can be used by NGOs and governments