Turkish Green Crescent Society held the Global Alcohol Policies Symposium

The Global Alcohol Policies Symposium, hosted by the Turkish Green Crescent Society, has garnered widespread interest.

World Health Organization (WHO) President Dr. Margaret Chan delivered a speech at the symposium. Chan noted that innocent people are affected in the incident caused by alcohol consumption as around 2.3 million people die every year because of alcohol use.

The Global Alcohol Policies Symposium, hosted by the Turkish Green Crescent Society in collaboration with the WHO, a first in its kind in Turkey, has ended. The symposium, opened by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Health Minister Dr. Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, WHO President Dr. Margaret Chan and Turkish Green Crescent Society Chairman Prof. M. İhsan Karaman, has secured massive interest from academics and media outlets.

Global policies need to be developed

Speaking at the opening of the symposium, Dr. Margaret Chan said: “The fact that this symposium is an international event with broad participation not only signifies the importance all countries attach to alcohol policies, but also indicates that the alcohol-related damage has attained dangerous levels for the states. Alcohol causes traffic accidents, murders, fatal fights and neuropsychological disorders in addition to diseases such as cancer and cirrhosis. Alcohol consumption not only causes many diseases, but also prevents their treatment, to our dismay. The health sector remains alone in this respect. Global policies should be developed. A meticulous strategy can be formulated with acceptable priorities and policies for each country. Taxation of alcoholic beverages, limiting the sale hours, increasing the sanctions for drunk driving and similar policies can hamper many disasters we face today.”

Turkey is working seriously on this matter

Dr. Chan pointed out that the CSOs are left alone concerning the public health matters while the importance Turkey attaches to the matter at the prime ministerial level is admirable. “Here, we have the Prime Ministry as well as the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Family and Social Policies and they all lend support to this conference and this is proof of Turkey’s seriousness regarding the matter,” she said.

I want to be Prime Minister Erdoğan’s volunteer ambassador

WHO President Dr. Chan explained that awareness raising and leadership are among the global strategies that can be used on the road to success. “This is what we see in Turkey. In this sense, Turkey shows us this leadership on a political level. I thank you Mr. Prime Minister Erdoğan for his personal contributions to public health. Meeting with Prime Minister, I have decided to be his volunteer ambassador. This is because Turkey has greatly reduced tobacco consumption during the last 10 years. What more can a prime minister do for his country? I want to see more prime ministers like him in the world,” she said. Referring to Turkey’s efforts to combat tobacco consumption, Chan stated that the rate of tobacco consumption has declined among young people.