NCD Urges Media to Expose lapses in Regulatory Mechanisms on Alcohol Advertisment

 

By Jamila Wahab

 

The office of the Non Communicable Diseases(NCD) Alliance in Ghana has urged the media to expose lapses in regulatory mechanisms needed to help control alcohol consumption in the country

And should also help advocate what works for other jurisdictions in order to make Ghana safe.

According to the chairman of Media Alliance in Tobacca Control and Health, Mr. Jorge Wilson Kingson explained that, the media have a critical role to play especially dedicating a few minutes of their time to educate the public about the negative effects of alcohol consumption.

A group showcasing it’s group work at the workshop

Stressing that,  ” Morning show hosts, hosts of TV and Radio programmes at various times should dedicate few minutes in educating the public about the negative effects of alcohol consumption”.

He made these remarks at a capacity building workshop under the theme “The Role of the Media in Advancing Public Health through Alcohol Control” held in Accra.

To him, the media need to let the policy makers know that alcohol is killing people and so they must act now to regulate its consumption in the country.

“We all know that Advertisement of alcoholic beverages is difficult to ignore because the offers are mostly too juicy to overlook since most media houses have financial obligations to meet”, he noted.

Mr. Labram Musah of Ghana NCD Alliance

But was quick to add, “But we in the media have a mission to attempt to use media advocacy to increase public awareness and support for public health policies on alcohol”.

He therefore believe that, the media through its Agenda Setting, that is the Gate-Keeping and watch-Dog roles have a very significant role in keeping the society informed and educated about a whole range of issues in a quest to decrease the impact of alcohol consumption on the individual, family and society as a whole.

On his part, Mr. Labram Musah of Ghana NCD Alliance pointed out that, most often, the alcohol industry do  interfere in the work of media houses, not able to play it’s watch-dog roles over them.

Adding that, the interference is a threat in advancing and achieving public health explaining that, most of these industries have a lot of money and can easily influence policy makers and the media.

Madam Ophelia Allotey presenting an award to a participant at the Capacity Building Workshop

Emphasizing that, some of these industries use economic power to lobby government officials and marketing machinery and as well as manipulating the media.

“They sometime discredit scientific research, influence government officials in order to propagate the state and distribution of its deadly alcoholic product” he acknowledged.

Mr. Musah also said the industries interferences have some common understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by giving back to the society and community, assisting the needy and vulnerable.

Stressing that they also seek acceptance of the public, consumers, media and regulators and also marketing tactics through CSR.

He used the workshop to urge the Ministry of trade and the government to exclude the alcohol industry from CSR policies because their involvement hinder global and national development.

Madam Ophelia Allotey presenting an award to a participant at the Capacity Building Workshop

Mr. Christopher Agbegu a member of NCD Alliance who spoke on the importance of the live experience voices in Advancing Public Health said most Ghanaians are ignorant on the health implications of alcohol consumption.

He further admitted that, the youth are mostly exposed to alcohol through Advertisement on the media and mostly, parent or elders in the communities do send them to go and buy the alcohol for their consumption.

Meanwhile, an action planner from NCD Alliance Madam Ophelia Allotey urged the media to use it gate-keeping and watch dog roles to educate the society on the harmful effect of alcohol.

NCD Urges Media to Expose lapses in Regulatory Mechanisms on Alcohol Advertisment

And called on the media to through the Agenda Setting to dedicate part of their shows, airtime, spaces to promoting alcohol control because alcohol is not food.

Source: www.thenewindependentonline.com

 

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