The news was released at a seminar jointly held by the Ministry of Health and WHO in Vietnam yesterday.
Statistically, Vietnam ranks third in Asia and 64th globally with regard to liquor consumption. Worse, young Vietnamese people having beer are trending up.
Dr. Kidong Park, the World Health Organization Representative in Vietnam, expressed his concern over the survey findings showing that a Vietnamese adult drank approximately 8.3 liter of spirits or more than 470 bottles of beer in 2016 whereas total alcohol consumption for parties in the west Pacific was 1.3 liters in the year.
Dr. Kidong Park said that many Vietnamese men drink alcohol at a hazardous level; consequently, excessive alcohol consumption has resulted in 79,999 deaths annually and hundreds of thousands of injuries nationwide.
He pointed out that Vietnamese people mistakenly thought that drinking beer is less dangerous than strong wine.
Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son said that alcohol production has been going up in Vietnam whereas countries in the world are trying to reduce it. Averagely, Vietnam makes 3.4 billion liters of beer, 70 million liters of industrial wine and around 250 million liters of liquor made by household businesses.
Critically, alarming alcohol consumption is the direct culprit of more than 30 non-communicable diseases and of additional 200 other illnesses which cause death and disabilities.
However, there are loopholes in law against alcohol prevention system. There have been only two decrees on the issue; one is Vietnamese government’s decree No. 105/2017/ND-CP on production and business of liquor and the Prime Minister’s No.244/QD-TTg on prevention of hazardous impact of alcohol to 2020.
Huge profits from alcohol consumption can’t compare with its detrimental effect on human and other consequences on the society. To deter people from drinking liquor, the government and relevant agencies should have tough sanction including law to save thousands of lives.