European Alcohol Policy Conference in Slovenia
IBC General Secretary Anne Babb and Programme Officer Daniele Polini attended the 7th European Alcohol Policy Conference, taking place on the 22 and 23 November 2016 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
The exchange with stakeholders in the field of alcohol policy was very interesting. New information has been gathered and the importance of engaging in alcohol policy activities has been reiterated. The Slovenian Health Minister Milojka Kolar Celarc advocated for better informing the public about Alcohol Policy Actions as they do pay off.
Alcohol causes at least 7 types of cancer. We need to communicate this to public to create better awareness on the dangers of alcohol consumption. The Slovenian Education Ministry emphasized that establishing a better intersectoral cooperation at the Government level on alcohol is very important. A WHO representative reminded us that Africa is a key for policy development. 11 African countries have new policies since 2010. The RARHA working group pointed out that for creating population wide approaches on alcohol prevention workplaces have a key role to play.
One of the concluding messages gathered from different speeches is: We must work together to reduce the availability of alcohol. This will reduce public health costs and especially enable the most vulnerable populations to leading healthier lives.
Working towards that goal, the International Blue Cross wants to encourage its members and partners to work towards evidence based alcohol policies and advocate for an approach where alcohol availability, pricing, marketing and population wide prevention is carefully considered.