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Fighting Aids, but alcoholism…

alcohol abuseThe celebration of World Aids Day at Tundikhel (on 1st december) has been a public and political event reinforcing the role of various organizations and funds engaged on this issue.
From a recent World Bank Report by the middle of 2008, more than 1750 cases of AIDS and over 11,000 cases of HIV infection were officially reported, with two times as many men reported to be infected as women.
In the last days, a Report issued by Patan Hospital revealed that almost half of Nepal’s 25 million population consumes alcohol thus not only straining the country’s health budget but giving rise to social tension. And Increasing number of youths giving to alcoholism which is comparatively more serious a problem than drug abuse affecting the life of the alcohol-addicted’s entire family.
A standard three-month recovery program costs between Rs 3,000- 5,000 a month. Those who can afford to, go abroad for confidentiality
No organizations have never been done a study in Nepal about the social and economic cost of alcohol abuse. Neither is there any reliable statistics regarding alcohol consumption.
The new rule set by the Government regarding limitation of alcohol selling could be a first step if it will be seriously implemented.
Despite the enormous social problem of alcohol in Nepal, nor NGOs or INGOs or other development agencies have specific projects on the matter. Nepal face the worst alcohol problems in South Asia and the social costs of alcohol abuse is far higher than the combined ravages of drugs and Aids. But this issues overshadowed other health problems in funding and in public recognition.
Probably due to the officialdom, liquor lobby and media the voices, especially coming from village women have been denied. But because of its cultural acceptability, experts say, alcoholism has become the single biggest medical and social problem in Nepali society today
As wrote by some scholars, the initiatives against the abuse of tobacco, liquor and such other injuries of capital and market that complicate gender, class and ideological positioning tend to be either deferred or altogether discredited.

Nina Tamang-Kathmandu

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