Alcohol Abuse in Urban Moshi, Tanzania
Case Study #3-13 of the Program: ''Food Policy For Developing Countries: The Role Of Government In The Global Food System''
Castens, Vicky; Luginga, Felix; Shayo, Benjamin; Tolias, Christine
Alcohol abuse is a global public health problem. About 50 percent of all traumatic brain injuries in the intensive care unit at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Moshi, Tanzania, involve alcohol (Kaino 2011). Interviews with stakeholders in the area have suggested that alcohol abuse is a growing problem in Moshi. Alcohol abuse is defined as the unhealthy or excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages (Government of Kenya 2010). Alcohol abuse afflicts all social groups, and alcohol abusers often hurt family members and friends, as well as themselves. Factors that contribute to alcohol abuse in Moshi include the abundance of home brewers, lifestyles that are dominated by social pressures, and traditional expectations such as the excessive consumption of alcohol at weddings, funerals, and other distinct occasions. A number of factors hinder efforts to curb this rising problem: the power of the alcohol industry; inadequate capacity to monitor alcohol production, sales, and consumption; the lack of public awareness about the risks of alcohol abuse; and the widespread availability and accessibility of alcohol in Moshi. The situation is worsened by the abundance of bars in the area as well as the sustained popularity of producing and selling traditional brews, even though the practice is illegal. The main stakeholders in developing and implementing policies to address the problem are the Tanzanian government, the Parliament, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Others include the alcohol industry, the World Health Organization, social support agencies, local bar owners, community members, and the drinking public. Here we propose policy options that aim to reduce the availability and accessibility of alcohol through laws, fiscal policies, and public health education measures. Your assignment is to use the information provided about the current alcohol abuse situation in Moshi and the relative interest and influence of the stakeholders to further evaluate the policy options. Considering feasibility and effectiveness, choose which policies would be best implemented in this particular situation, or formulate your own, and support your decision.
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Previously Published As
Vicky Castens, Felix Luginga, Benjamin Shayo, Christine Tolias (2012). Case Study #3-13, ''Alcohol Abuse in Urban Moshi, Tanzania''. In: Per Pinstrup-Andersen and Fuzhi Cheng (editors), ''Food Policy for Developing Countries: Case Studies.''15 pp.