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PAHO online resources:
Self learning on alcohol and drug policy

The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) has introduced Self-Learning Courses on several aspects of alcohol and drug harm and policy. The virtual courses may be accessed by anyone and are available in English and Spanish.


WHO Director General Dr. Chan warns again against vested interests

“Efforts to prevent non-communicable diseases go against the business interests of powerful economic operators. In my view, this is one of the biggest challenges facing health promotion”, said Dr. Margaret Chan in her opening address to the Health for All conference in Helsinki.


World Health Organization to tackle non-communicable disease

The 66th World Health Assembly opened in Geneva today. One of the main issues is how the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD) will be handled in the future. Referring to the difference between malaria and NCDs the Director General of WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan, in her opening speech stated that “Mosquitoes do not have front groups, and mosquitoes do not have lobbies.”


Dr. Chan will protect alcohol policy from industry
Dr. Chan, WHO

WHO Director General, Dr. Margaret Chan, will protect alcohol policy making from commercial or vested interests of the alcohol industry. She welcomes an initiative by researchers and civil society organizations that keep careful watch over the behaviour of the alcohol industry.


GAPA submission in Health in the post 2015 Development Agenda
Alcohol: a key determinant for ill health and an obstacle to development

In the development goals that will follow the Millennium Development Goals alcohol needs to be addressed, says the Global Alcoholhol Policy Alliance. This is the topic of a paper contributed to the consultation by WHO and UNICEF on Health in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.


Successful Global Alcohol Policy Conference in Bangkok:
“We have enough evidence to act. Now!”

A historic moment! A significant success! Great words were used at the closing of the Global Alcohol Policy Conference in Bangkok 15 February, - and for good reasons. The conference had everything in terms of technical contents, commitment from participants as well as excellent conference facilities and local staff.


WHO Bulletin on Global Fund conflict of interest

An article in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization raises concerns regarding conflict of interest in a partnership where SABMiller, the world’s second largest brewer by sales volume, receive funding from the Global Fund for a HIV/AIDS prevention project in drinking establishements in South Africa. "No conflict of interest" replies the Global Fund.


Journal Addiction calls for action on alcohol and NCD
Addiction cover

An editorial by Robin Room, Jürgen Rehm and Charles Parry in the journal Addiction points to the September High Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly as an occasion to remedy the relative lack of action on alcohol in reducing the burden of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD).


First WHO Global status report on NCDs
Millions of NCD deaths can be prevented
NCD Global Status Report

Noncommunicable diseases are the leading killer today and are on the increase, the first WHO Global status report on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) launched In Moscow during the WHO Global Forum confirms. But millions of deaths can be prevented by stronger implementation of measures that exist today.


WHO DG Margaret Chan at Moscow Global Forum:
The rise of NCD: an impending disaster

At the opening of the recent WHO Global Forum, Addressing the Challenge of Noncommunicable Diseases, Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, in her opening statement called the rise of chronic noncommunicable diseases an impending disaster - for health, for society, and most of all for national economies."


New WHO report confirms
Alcohol kills more people globally than HIV/AIDS

The 2011 edition of the Global status report on alcohol and health confirms that alcohol is a major threat to global public health and welfare. Drinking alcohol kills more people than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or violence.


Global Strategy and Alcohol Atlas

Two key documents are now available from the freshly redesigned web site of the WHO Management of Substance Abuse.


Updated with Dr. M. Chan's closing remarks:
A Global Alcohol Strategy adopted by the World Health Assembly

The World Health Assembly passed on the 20th of May a resolution endorsing a Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol. It was a very interesting discussion in the Assembly where some 35 member states spoke - all in favour of the strategy. Three NGOs/civil society alliances also made statements supporting the resolution.


UN General Assembly asks for High Level meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases

Yesterday the United Nations General Assembly decided to convene a high-level UN meeting in September 2011 on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. Heads of State and Government will be attending


A well grounded Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol

The World Health Assembly, at its meeting in May, will have before it a Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol.


WHO Executive Board recommends alcohol strategy to Assembly

On Friday 22 January the WHO Executive Board Session passed a resolution which recommends to the World Health Assembly (WHA) to endorse the Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol.


WHO report:
Alcohol use is global health risk factor no three

WHO has released the new estimates on the Global Health Risks, based on the Global Burden of Disease figures from 2004. Alcohol use is risk factor number eight for mortality in the world and the third risk factor for burden of disease.


Draft Global Alcohol Strategy goes to WHO Executive Board

The Executive Board of the World Health Organization will discuss a Draft Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful use of Alcohol in its January 2010 meeting. The documents, including the draft strategy are now available.


Coming: New estimates of global health risks

An editorial in the September issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization announces a new report with updated estimates of global health risks".


Global alcohol strategy in the making

A working document for developing a draft global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol has been released by the WHO secretariat. The document will be the base for further consultations with WHO member states.


WHA passes social determinants resolution

The WHO member states keeps the Social Determinants of Health process on track by passing a resolution based on the commission report at the World Health Assembly last month. The Health Assembly next year will discuss a proposed global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol.


Contributions to WHO strategy process are now published

Input from NGOs, alcohol industry and other institutions to the WHO process towards a Global Strategy are now available at the WHO web site.


Regional WHO consultation meetings on a global alcohol strategy are starting late February
Dates are now set for the regional consultation meetings between WHO and the Member States. They are part of the process towards a Global Strategy to reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol. The first meeting will take place in Bangkok in the end of February.

WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health

Closing the gap in health inequities in a generation is the ambitious goal described in the report from the WHO Commission on Social Determinants on Health. (Photo: WHO)


Invitation to an NGO Alliance for a Global Strategy
NGOs worldwide are now invited to join an information sharing network connected to the WHO process leading up to a Global Strategy on alcohol.

Ways of reducing harmful use of alcohol
WHO public hearing

In a press release 2 October WHO invites all interested parties to participate in a web-based public hearing to present their views on effective strategies to reduce the burden resulting from the harmful use of alcohol. WHO was asked by its Member States in May at the World Health Assembly to develop a global strategy to combat the harmful use of alcohol. The hearing is a part of this work. Submissions must be given before 31 October.


World Health Organization to develop a global strategy to reduce alcohol related harm
Alcohol discussion in committee A of WHA61 2008

In its session Thursday 22 May the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution that calls for the development of a global strategy to reduce harmful consumption of alcohol. The Global Alcohol Policy Alliance welcomes the decision.


Alcohol prevention on the agenda of the World Health Assembly

This week the World Health Assembly is in session at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. A resolution calling for a global strategy to reduce alcohol-related harm is on the agenda.


WHO Board adopts resolution calling for a global strategy

The Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) passed on the 22nd of January a resolution that will be recommended to the World Health Assembly in May this year, asking for a global strategy on harmful use of alcohol.


New statistics presented: HIV prevalence has levelled off

New data show that global HIV prevalence - the number of people living with HIV - has levelled off. The number of new infections has fallen. This was the conclusion drawn by UNAIDS when new AIDS statistics were presented.


Editorial in The Lancet calls for a Framework Convention on Alcohol Control

The influential medical journal The Lancet has in a recent editorial called for a Framework Convention on Alcohol Control. The journal says that next year's World Health Assembly provides a crucial opportunity for WHO and member states to make those first steps towards a global treaty to reduce alcohol-related harm.


Alcohol controversial item at World Health Assembly

The World Health Assembly in Geneva in May discussed strategies to reduce alcohol-related harm. In spite of broad support from many of the WHO member countries to a resolution calling for global action on the harmful use of alcohol, the discussion ended in a stalemate. The WHO Executive Board will take up the issue again in its meeting in January next year.


WHO Expert Committee Report

Today the report from the WHO Expert Committee on Problems Related to Alcohol Consumption was presented. The Commitee urges the World Health Organization to continue to play a leading role in coordinating a global response to the global nature of alcohol problems. It also recommends that WHO continue its practice of no collaboration with the alcohol industry.


World Health Assembly set to discuss alcohol

The Health ministers from all over the world will discuss the health burden of alcohol in the forthcoming World Health Assembly to be held in Geneva 14-23 May. This is the follow up of the WHA resolution 58.26 Public health problems caused by harmful use of alcohol, from 2005, the first WHA resolution exclusively on alcohol since 1983. The documents for the alcohol issue are now available on the WHO site.


Alcohol: No ordinary commodity
The summary of the book by Thomas Babor and a team of researchers, Alcohol: No ordinary Commodity; research and public policy is now available for free on the web site of the journal Addiction. Comments to the various chapters of the book can also be downloaded from the site.

Researcher and government official on WHO and alcohol

The journal Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs in 2005 carried two articles on WHO and alcohol. Robin Room writes the history of ups and downs of two decades, while Norwegian government official, Bernt Bull, elaborates on the the Nordic countries and the WHA 58:26 resolution.


World Health Assembly adopts alcohol resolution

The 58 World Health Assebly has adopted a resolution calling on WHO to examine public health problems caused by the harmful use of alcohol.


WHO launches Global Alcohol Policy Report

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently published the Global Status Report: Alcohol Policy. It aims to describe the present status of existing alcohol policies worldwide. The report is based on a review of existing policies in 118 countries and provides a brief snapshot of what is known about the effectiveness of alcohol policy measures.




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