East Africa Alcohol Policy Alliance agrees: More research required

10 October 2012
Alexandra Hyde

There is a pressing need to support the development of national policies on alcohol regulations in East Africa, argues Dr Nyasule Neke of the National Institute for Medical Research, Mwanza (NIMR). Dr Neke represented STRIVE and NIMR at the 3rd East Africa Conference on Alcohol in Arusha, Tanzania in September. The aim of the conference was to share information on national alcohol policy formulations across East Africa.

STRIVE partner NIMR have recently completed a landscape analysis on alcohol related policies in Tanzania.  Results from the analysis demonstrate that the different institutions charged with alcohol regulation require much better coordination. Dr Neke also pointed out that this would require the full participation of civil society and the scientific research community.

Dr Neke stated: "From the presentations made at the conference, it is clear that there is lack of alcohol-related research to support policy formulation". 

World Health Representative Dr Rufaro Chataro highlighted the need to map unrecorded drinking patterns and document effective alcohol policy interventions. He called for new partnerships between policy and research entities, and operational research as an integral part of alcohol control.

The conference also marked the inauguration of the East Africa Alcohol Policy Alliance (EAAPA). The main objective of the alliance is to advocate for more effective design and implementation of alcohol-related policies.

Download the NIMR/STRIVE poster presentation here.