Alcohol Killed 3.3m In 2012 Worldwide - WHO
More than 3 million people died from using alcohol in 2012, for reasons ranging from cancer to violence, the World Health Organisation said on Monday.
While it called on governments to do more to limit the damage, a WHO expert on chronic disease and mental health, Oleg Chestnov, said, 'More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption.'
He said there was no room for complacency, warning that 'too much consumption of alcohol kills more men then women, raises people's risk of developing more than 200 diseases, and killed 3.3 million people in 2012.
On average, according to the WHO report, every person in the world aged 15 years or older drinks 6.2 litres of pure alcohol per year. But less than half the population - 38.3 per cent - drinks, so those who do drink on average 17 litres of pure alcohol a year.
'We found that worldwide about 16 percent of drinkers engage in heavy episodic drinking - often referred to as binge-drinking' - which is the most harmful to health,' the report said.
Poorer people are generally more affected by the social and health consequences of alcohol, he said: 'They often lack quality health care and are less protected by functional family or community networks.'
According to the most recent data from the WHO, Nigeria currently ranks 27th position globally in alcohol consumption among adults (age 15+) in litres per capita per year, making it the leading African country in alcohol consumption.
The methodology used by the WHO counted use by persons 15 years of age or older.
The report is, therefore, calling for action by countries to develop policies to reduce harmful use of alcohol, raising national awareness, and for health services to deliver prevention and treatment services, in particular increasing prevention, treatment and care for patients and their families, and supporting initiatives for screening and brief interventions.