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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Global Actions: Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking. July 10, 2013

Global Actions in Focus
Collaborating with india’s ministry of health
Representatives from the International Spirits and Wines Association of India, Pernod Ricard India, and ICAP met with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Joint Secretary Mr. Anshu Prakash on June 6, 2013, to discuss the WHO’s guidelines to reduce the harmful use of beverage alcohol as a part of efforts to address noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).
The recently concluded World Health Assembly at Geneva reemphasized the need to increase the frequency of consultations with various stakeholders in order to address the growing concern of harmful drinking.
At the meeting, industry representatives outlined the projects and activities that have been undertaken, including those that focus on drink driving, binge drinking, underage drinking, training and eye camps for commercial truck drivers, and increasing awareness of responsible drinking. The representatives also highlighted the collaboration with the Health Ministry as they work on these issues.
Mr. Prakash welcomed the initiatives and activities taken by the beverage alcohol producers and agreed to work in conjunction with industry representatives in certain areas of concern. He also agreed that the primary objective should be to reduce the harmful use of beverage alcohol. It was suggested that there should be an emphasis on programs and campaigns that address the NCDs linked to unhealthy lifestyle choices, promote an increase in physical activity, and develop binge drinking education programs for youth.
Mr. Prakash also stressed the importance of the communication and advertising of responsible drinking at public events. He recommended that ICAP and industry representatives meet with other departments within the state governments, including the State Excise Department, to discuss drink driving campaigns and other projects. ICAP presented a booklet outlining several industry initiatives and future projects, including activities planned in partnership with Maharashtra/Andhra Pradesh and the Odisha Excise Department. Industry representatives also requested the creation of a committee of stakeholders to work with the Health Ministry and review projects to assess progress.
The meeting concluded with recommended steps to move forward:
1. Keep the Joint Secretary’s office informed of all industry initiatives through mail and personal interactions.
2. Rigorous action required to advance the formation of a committee of stakeholders working with the Health Ministry for concrete results.
3. Initiate discussions with a few state governments initially and implement some initiatives to showcase at the Health Ministry.
4. Design a new initiative based on the Joint Secretary’s recommendations and start discussion on its implementation.
Key Recent Milestones
· Worldwide: On July 4, 2013, ICAP announced that Anadolu Efes has become an ICAP Sponsor Company. ICAP President Marcus Grant welcomed the company and said, “Anadolu Efes joins us as we are working to develop an inclusive approach to addressing harmful drinking and put diverse resources to work on alcohol-related harms.”
What's Happening Next
· Colombia: Channel Research will be conducting their third site visit to Colombia for the Global Actions Drink Driving Initiative. The visit will take place from August 12 to 16, 2013, where the team will speak with various stakeholders.