MEC MABUYANE TO LAUNCH ANTI ALCOHOL ABUSE CAMPAIGN TOMORROW
Issued by the Finance, DEDEAT Ministry
Eastern Cape provincial government’s efforts to curb alcohol abuse at the province’s institutions of higher learning will receive a shot in the arm tomorrow when the Finance, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC, Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane launches the Institutions of Higher Learning Anti-alcohol abuse education campaign in East London.
A number of Academic research studies consistently showed increasing alcohol use amongst tertiary education students, particularly female undergraduates. Heavy alcohol use by tertiary students leads to a variety of alcohol-related problems such as damage to property, poor academic performance, problematic peer relationships, high dropout rates, unprotected sexual activity, physical injuries, date rape and suicide.
One of the recent incidents involving abuse of alcohol was a murder of a Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha. In response to these existing challenges, the provincial government is starting this program to curb abuse of alcohol and will be driven by the Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB).
BACKGROUND OF ALCHOL ABUSE
A recent socio-economic research study commissioned by the ECLB shows that there is an increase in the abuse of alcohol, particularly among school-going youth.
While there have been considerable interventions at the school level, there has been virtually no intervention at the higher education level, which feed off from secondary schools. Some studies have shown that the rate of alcohol consumption increases among high school learners when they reach university level. A decision was therefore taken to focus anti-alcohol abuse attention at the tertiary institutions.
Increase of alcohol intake among South African university students is a major cause of concern as it has been linked to other risk behaviors, such as unsafe sex with an increased risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, unplanned pregnancy, dropping out of university and delinquent or criminal behavior.
The intervention at the higher education institutions level happens against the backdrop of the increasing – both anecdotally and empirically – evidence suggesting sharp rise of alcohol abuse at university campuses, which invariably calls for a concerted effort to alleviate the scourge
Venue: Regent Hotel, East London
Members of the media are invited to attend the campaign launch.
For more information, please contact: MEC’s Spokesperson: Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha on 0829558833
062 594 5703