The Ministry of Health and Quality of Life will start a massive anti smoking and drinking campaign by next month. In this context, the minister of Health and Quality of Life Lormus Bundhoo told the Independent: “Alcoholism is a major health problem among the public. The number of alcoholics is increasing.”

He added: “Forty-six per cent of admissions to Brown Sequard in 2011 were due to alcohol related problems. Many people with alcohol related problems are diagnosed in the Regional hospitals and in Rodrigues as well.”

The minister also stated that he will be holding a committee with the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions and the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare regarding this project.

“We will decide how to proceed with this campaign. It should be noted that according to the 2004 figures from the Ministry of Health, 58 per cent of men and 28 per cent of women consumed alcohol. In 2009, this figure rose to 65 per cent for men and 38 per cent for women,” he added.

He also said that in other hospitals, the problems associated with alcohol, such as gastritis and hepatitis – inflammation of the liver – are also on the rise. In 2010, 6,884 people were admitted for problems related to alcohol.

By Karuna Mooloo

Thursday 11th of October 2012