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Sierra Leone News: No amount of alcohol is safe- Dr Taylor Wilson 

“There’s no amount of liquor, wine or beer that is safe for your overall health, said William Dauda, Program Coordinator, FORUT, while celebrating the 2018 No Alcohol Day in Freetown. Calling for a ban on alcohol advertising in all professional sports, Dauda pointed out that alcohol is the leading risk factor for disease and premature death in men and women between the ages of 15 and 49 worldwide accounting for nearly one in 10 deaths.   He further pointed out the need to develop a policy to control alcohol marketing, production and consumption for the sustainable development of Sierra Leone. The doctors and experts at the famed Mayo Clinic in the US, however, might disagree slightly. The doctors said, red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as being heart healthy. The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent coronary artery disease, the condition that leads to heart attacks. The links between red wine and fewer heart attacks aren’t completely understood. But part of the benefit might be that antioxidants such as flavonoids may increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) and protect against cholesterol buildup. Many doctors agree that something in red wine appears to help your heart. Another substance in red wine called resveratrol seems to have heart-healthy benefits. Resveratrol helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and prevents blood clots. Some research shows that resveratrol could be linked to a lower risk of inflammation and blood clotting, which can lead to heart disease. Kamara underscored the influence of alcohol advertising in sports on young people stating that young people receive a lot of messages from alcohol sponsors during live and televised sporting events. “Because of such messages during sporting events, most young people tend to be influenced by such messages, this is evident in the national stadium where there is a lots of alcohol advertising,” Kamara stated. The two largest advertisers at the Siaka Stevens Stadium are actually Orange and Africell, mobile phone services and Internet providers. Deliberating on the health implications of alcohol, Dr. Adetunji Wilson Taylor, stated that “Alcohol consumption is a major factor responsible for liver cancer and other cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis.” Numerous studies show pathogenic impact of alcohol on the immune system causing susceptibility to TB among heavy drinkers. The most surprising finding, Dr. Wilson pointed out, “Even small amounts of alcohol use contribute to health loss.” In Sierra Leone, he stated, alcohol deaths is high, up to 136 out of 100,000 deaths are alcohol related. Ibrahim Kamara, Executive Director, Sierra Leone Alcohol Policy Alliance, highlighted the impacts of alcohol on development drives. Kamara said to combat the burden of Non Communicable Diseases and to protect future generations, SLAPA aggressively advocates for the ban on alcohol advertising in sport in Sierra Leone. Istatu Sesay noted the need to work with political parties and lawmakers as major partners to achieve the ban of alcohol advertising during sporting events. She further spoke about the evident of increase in alcohol use during elections and therefore stated that political parties and lawmakers should be major players to support the fight against alcohol advertising.

SV/3/10/18

By Sylvia Villa

Thursday October 04, 2018.

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