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Alcoholism major public health problem in India

By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Mar 29, 2021 7:38 pm
Kevisetuo Angami speaking during the programme on Monday. (EM Images)

Our Reporter
Dimapur March 29 (EMN):
Senior specialist at District Hospital Dimapur, Dr. C Kezo on Monday informed that cirrhosis, a chronic disease of the liver marked by degeneration of cells, was one of the leading causes of death worldwide with 50%, while alcohol consumption was emerging as a major public health problem in India.

Alcoholism, he said, was a big health issue from ‘medical point of view’ and added that the usage of alcohol had increased due to the pandemic.

Kezo was speaking as the resource person at the first Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Day organised by North East Artist Network (Nean) in collaboration with Naga Women Hoho Dimapur held on the theme “Understanding and Empowering Alcoholic Community” at Don Bosco, IDL Hall in Dimapur on March 29.

He stated that 30% of deaths were caused by oral and pharyngeal cancer, 22% by inter-personal violence, 22% by self-harm, 15% by RTA and 12% by tuberculosis.

The senior specialist added that on the national level in 2012, 33.1% of road traffic accident deaths was due to drunk and driving cases and 62.9% of all the deaths due to liver cirrhosis was attributed to alcohol usage.

Kezo said that excessive drinking of alcohol could cause erectile dysfunction, affect fertility of sperm count and also cause neurological complications such as black out, impaired memory and slow reaction time.  In physical complications, it could cause depression and anxiety; 17.6% of psychiatric emergencies were alcohol- related cases found in Indian general hospitals, he said.

“Alcohol usage not only affects the individuals but also their families, financially and their psychological well being. According to the National Crime Research Bureau 2015, Tamil Nadu recorded the highest number of drunk and driving accidents in the country,” Kezo added. He further urged the various policy makers to educate people about the consequences of chronic alcoholism through sensitisation programmes and health education campaigns.

President of Dimapur Bar Association, Imti Imsong said that six states in India were considered as dry states in India. With reference to Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act, 1995 and Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act, 1989, Imsong said that both the states were a Christian majority state but Mizoram was far better in implementing the Act compared to Nagaland.

Imsong opined that one reason was that powerful churches and social organisation were taking active part in helping the concerned department in controlling the flow of alcohol in the state. Moreover, he informed that the Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act allows any private person or group of individuals or members of non-governmental organisations to arrest the offender and hand them over to the police.

“Whereas in Nagaland, the NGOs or public can only assist the law enforcing agencies in NLTP Act and even the punishment (in Mizoram) is severe compared to Nagaland,” he added.

Imsong urged the citizens to be more serious and take active part and help the Excise department ‘instead of blaming them.’

During the occasion, additional commissioner of Excise department, Kevisetuo Angami urged the citizens to participate so that the Act can be implemented effectively.

Angami said that it was the duty of every citizen to give inputs and information of the offenders, terming it as a “people’s movement”. He also encouraged the gathering to create awareness and urged every stakeholder to come forward.

He said that the department alone cannot implement the Act, “we need active participation of all to come together to fight against the menace”.

Furthermore, he assured that the department would extend support and contribute in every possible way towards implementing the Act.

Angami also highlighted the duties and functions of the department adding that it has also been trying its best to implement the Act without “shying away”.

He informed that in terms of population ratio, for 66 people in the Police department , there was one police personnel while in the Excise department, out of 5715 people, only one Excise personnel was posted. He added that with limited man power, they were doing their best.

He added that after the introduction of the NLTP Act, the main function of the Excise department has shifted from revenue collection to enforcement of NLTP act 1989.

By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Mar 29, 2021 7:38:54 pm