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WHO launches on-line forum against alcohol consumption

The United Nations World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched a month-long online forum to give a voice to the public on how to curb harmful consumption.

world Updated: Oct 03, 2008 08:58 IST

With more than two million people dying from alcohol-related causes annually, the United Nations World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched a month-long online forum to give a voice to the public on how to curb harmful consumption.

The Internet discussion on alcohol control, which starts today, will continue till October 31.

"This web-based public hearing is broad and inclusive and will provide and opportunity for everyone, including the public, to present their views on effective strategies to reduce the burden resulting the harmful use of alcohol," said Ala Alwan, Assistant Director-General of WHO's No communicable Diseases and Mental Health Cluster.

Submissions to the on-line forum can be made to the WHO website in all of the six official UN languages, and will form the documentation to be discussed during upcoming separate meetings with alcohol industry representatives, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and Member States.

During the World Health Assembly in May, several nations have asked WHO to chalk out a global strategy to combat destructive use of alcohol.

Calling for the maximum participation in the hearing, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Director Benedetto Saraceno said that public views on the issue would help to resolve it.

"We are particularly interested in getting views on integrated approaches that can protect at-risk populations, young people and those affected by harmful drinking by others," he said.