SAFER : an initiative launched by WHO to reduce harmful use of alcohol

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The World Health Organization (WHO) released SAFER, a new initiative to support governments in taking practical steps to accelerate progress on health, beat noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) . It will address the harmful use of alcohol, and achieve development targets.

SAFER provides five high-impact strategic actions that are prioritized for implementation to promote health and development by:

  • Strengthening restrictions on alcohol availability.
  • Advance and enforcing drink driving countermeasures.
  • Facilitating access to screening, brief interventions, and treatment.
  • Enforcing bans or comprehensive restrictions on alcohol advertising, sponsorship, and promotion.
  • Raising prices on alcohol through excise taxes and pricing policies.
  • It will be used to reduce the burden of alcohol-related harm in low-, middle- and high-income countries.Alcohol control essential for development as it is a part of the 17 SDGoals with 169 targets.
  • Target 3.5 is “Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol”.Also, the WHO Global Monitoring Framework for NCDs includes a target to reduce harmful use of alcohol by at least 10% by 2025.

Alcohol consumption contributes to more than 3 million deaths globally every year and over 5% of the global burden of disease and injury, according to the recently issued WHO Global Status Report (GSR) on Alcohol and Health 2018.