The 58th World Health Assembly has called on WHO to intensify international collaboration in reducing public health problems caused by the harmful use of alcohol.
The hazardous and harmful use of alcohol has now become one of the most important risks to health: it is the leading risk factor in developing countries with low mortality rates and ranks third in developed countries, according to the World Health Report 2002.
While alcohol use is deeply embedded in many societies, recent years have seen changes in drinking patterns across the globe: rates of consumption, drinking to excess among the general population and heavy episodic drinking among young people are on the rise in many countries.
Health problems associated with alcohol consumption have reached alarming levels, and alcohol use contributes to a wide range of diseases, health conditions and high-risk behaviours, from mental disorders and road traffic injuries, to liver diseases and unsafe sexual behaviour.
Through this WHA resolution, WHO’s Secretariat is requested to address a number of areas related to the issue of harmful use of alcohol, including: gathering and sharing scientific information on alcohol consumption and related public health problems; preparing research and policy initiatives and recommendations for effective policies and interventions; providing support to Member States in monitoring alcohol-related harm and implementing effective strategies and promoting identification and management of alcohol-use disorders in primary health care.
The World Health Assembly also requested the Director General to report to the 60th World Health Assembly on “Evidence based strategies and interventions to reduce alcohol related harm” as well a “Global Assessment of public health problems caused by the harmful use of alcohol” (WHA 58.26-4). The reports were submitted at the 60th World Health Assembly in April 2007 (WHA 60/14) and (WHA 60/14 Add.1)
Download the Resolutions
WHA58.26 - Public health problems caused by harmful use of alcohol [pdf 16kb]
WHA 60.14 - Evidence based strategies and interventions to reduce alcohol related harm [pdf 39kb]
WHA 60.14-Add1 – Global Assessment of public health problems caused by
harmful use of alcohol” [pdf 40kb]