Strategy needed to control non-communicable diseases: Experts

New Delhi: There is a need for a coherent strategy to control non-communicable diseases in the country with a special focus on alcohol consumption, experts said Wednesday.

“It is important to think of a coherent strategy and put together overall policy framework for control of non-communicable diseases where alcohol and tobacco form the basis of a policy formulation,” C.K. Mishra, additional secretary in the health ministry said at a consultation on alcohol control here.

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The consultation “Alcohol Control: Public Health Perspective – moving forward towards a comprehensive national alcohol control policy” was organised by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) in collaboration with the union health ministry.

“There is a need to address the problem of alcohol use from public health perspective with multi-stakeholder involvement from government, civil society and like-minded organisations,” Mishra said.

In India, alcohol is a state subject and states and union territories have the power to frame policies and guidelines on issues relating to movement, possession, marketing, availability, consumption, sale and state excise rates of alcohol.

Monika Arora, director-health promotion, PHFI, said: “The consultation aimed at creating a conducive environment to address alcohol problem in India from a public health perspective. It also discussed a draft white paper on alcohol control in India enlisting the public health interventions and programmes needed to overcome the burden of alcohol in India.”

“… a final white paper on alcohol control from this consultation will be presented to the government,” Arora said.