On Friday December 6th the HCC with the support of partners PAHO and CARPHA, hosted the 4th Annual Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day.
4TH ANNUAL CARIBBEAN ALCOHOL REDUCTION DAY
Women and Alcohol
Alcohol affects men and women differently, giving rise to unique gender-based vulnerabilities. For CARD 2019, the theme was Women and Alcohol. IF YOU DRINK ALCOHOL – DRINK LESS. IF YOU DON’T DRINK – DON’T START.
The harmful use of alcohol, along with tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, is recognised as one of four major common risk factors for NCDs; yet alcohol has received comparatively less attention than the other 3 risk factors. Alcohol consumption contributes to 3 million deaths each year globally and harmful use of alcohol is responsible for 5.1% of the global burden of disease. Alcohol is the leading risk factor for premature mortality and disability among those aged 15 to 49 years, accounting for 10 percent of all deaths in this age group. Alcohol and its over use, contributes to a number of cancers, liver disease, cardiovascular disease, mental illness, violence, accidents and injuries. A major global study published in the Lancet in 2018 concluded that ‘alcohol is a colossal global health issue’ and there is ‘no safe level of alcohol consumption’.
CARD 2019 focused on women and alcohol and the unique public health and NCD-related concerns linked to alcohol consumption among women. Alcohol use not only increases a woman’s risk of liver and cardiovascular diseases, cancer and assault, but consumption of alcohol during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, premature deliveries, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Alcohol use is also linked to breast cancer among women. Historically, alcohol use and its consequential health issues are more prevalent in men than in women. However, emerging evidence reveals an epidemiological change in alcohol use in younger cohorts, and further demonstrates that women suffer with more severe health and social problems at the hands of alcohol. Further, alcohol metabolism occurs differently in women due to differences in body structure and chemistry, leading to greater absorption of alcohol and delayed excretion. The risk of an alcohol injury is higher for women than men after about 3 drinks, with an exponential increase in risk in any injury, including road injuries.
The objectives of CARD 2019:
- Increase public and policymaker awareness about the burden, drivers and impact of alcohol consumption among women in the Caribbean.
- Sensitise the public about the new WHO SAFER alcohol control initiative to prevent and reduce alcohol-related death and disability and the Global Status report on alcohol and health in 2018.
- Call on Policy makers to implement specific WHO SAFER policies to reduce alcohol consumption among Caribbean people including women (WHO SAFER):
- Strengthen restrictions on alcohol availability.
- Advance and enforce drink driving countermeasures.
- Facilitate access to screening, brief interventions, and treatment.
- Enforce bans or comprehensive restrictions on alcohol advertising, sponsorship, and promotion (across multiple types of media).
- Raise prices on alcohol through excise taxes and pricing policies.
Read the full 4th Annual Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day Concept Note.
KNOW THE FACTS download/enlarge
POLICY PREDICTIONS download/enlarge
HEALTH IMPACTS download/enlarge
KEY MESSAGES download/enlarge
One of the key events in support of CARD 2019 was the hosting of a webinar, which took place on Friday, December 6th, 2019. The webinar featured global and regional experts who discussed patterns and drivers of alcohol consumption among women and explored policy options to reduce the harmful use of alcohol within this group.
The webinar was moderated by Professor Rohan Maharaj, Professor of Family Medicine at the University of The West Indies, St. Augustine, a Fellow of the Caribbean College of Family Physicians and HCC Alcohol Policy Advisor, the speakers are listed below along with links to their presentation slides.
- The Regional Burden, Drivers and Consequences of Alcohol Use Among Women – Professor T. Alafia Samuels – Honorary Professor. Epidemiology Research Unit, Caribbean Institute for Health Research (CAIHR) UWI, Jamaica and HCC Policy and Practice Advisor
- The Clinical Consequences of Alcohol Use and Abuse – Professor Simon Anderson – Director, Chronic Disease Research Centre of CAIHR, Professor of Population Health Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus Barbados
- Pregnant Women Never Drink Alone: Pregnant Women and Alcohol – Dr. Stephanie Date – Consultant, HCC CARD 2019
00:25 Professor Alafia Samuels: Alcohol and Women
22:55 Professor Simon Anderson: The clinical consequences of alcohol use and abuse
43:15 Dr Stephanie Date: Pregnant women never drink alone
The 3rd Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day (CARD) took place on November 29th 2018, The theme was: YOUTH: Let’s Talk About Alcohol.
In the world of today, young people’s drinking habits differ from that of the generations before them. Despite many decades of battles by international organisations like the World Health Organisation, against the harmful use of alcohol, social barriers, particularly drinking cultures in the Caribbean population, continue to hamper efforts to reduce harmful consumption of alcohol. Recent trends suggest that young people drink less on average, but that they are more prone to heavy episodic or binge drinking when they do drink. Read more.
The 2nd Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day (CARD) took place on November 17th 2017, The theme was: Drink Less, Reduce, Cancer.
The harmful use of alcohol, along with tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, is recognized as one of four major common risk factors for NCDs; yet alcohol has received comparatively less attention than the other 3 risk factors. Alcohol contributes to cancer, liver and heart disease, mental illness, violence, accidents and injuries. Read more.
The 1st Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day (CARD) took place on November 18th 2016 and the theme was: Misuse of alcohol is a bigger problem than you think.
It was an initiative of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) aimed at sensitising the people of the Caribbean to the harmful effects of abuse of alcohol and encouraging them to “drink less and live better”. Read more.