The Economics of Alcohol Prevention: Beating NCDs and Promoting Socio-Economic Development
IOGT International with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, and our members the Stop Drink Network, Thailand; ADIC Sri Lanka; and the IOGT-NTO Movement, Sweden are jointly organising a groundbreaking side meeting during PMAC 2019 on a timely and innovative topic, highly relevant to the overall theme of the PMAC 2019 and linked to the Agenda 2030.
Date, time, venue
January 29, 2019
Lotus Suite 2, Centara Grand Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld
Open to All Participants
Side meeting background
For NCDs the stakes have never been higher, after the watershed year of 2018.
- Every year 38 million people die from NCDs. That’s more deaths than all other diseases combined.
- 40% of people who die from NCDs are in their most productive years – clearly showing to which degree NCDs are not only health but also economic and sustainability threats.
- Almost 2/3 of NCDs deaths are linked to the four major risk factors, including alcohol.
- NCDs burden low and middle-income countries the heaviest: 75% of all NCDs deaths occur in LMICs. In developing countries, NCDs are increasing faster, in younger people, and with worse outcomes than in wealthier countries.
Through addressing the risk factors by implementing evidence-based policy solutions and community-based interventions, NCDs can largely be prevented. Yet, 2018 and the political declarations before show that the prevention dimension of the global NCDs disaster is too often forgotten and not yet systematically discussed and addressed.
This side meeting is therefore a critical contribution to elevating the global conversation about the role of risk factor prevention, its economic case and its benefits for promoting sustainable development.
There is a clear imperative for action on, for example, alcohol prevention:
- Alcohol is a major obstacle to sustainable development, adversely affecting 13 of 17 SDGs.
- Alcohol is a major risk factor for NCDs and mental ill-health. There is a strong link between alcohol and NCDs, particularly cancer, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, pancreatitis and diabetes.
- Alcohol kills 3 million people worldwide every year. Every 10 seconds a human being dies because of alcohol.
- Alcohol consumption is a causal factor in more than 200 disease and injury conditions, including NCDs.
- Alcohol disproportionately harms the youth.
- And alcohol is harming economic productivity and sustainability of communities and entire societies around the world.
From economic harm to sustainable solutions
The economic burden of alcohol worldwide is substantial, accounting for approximately 5.44% of Growth Domestic Product in some countries. Alcohol is the leading risk factor for death and disability among people aged 15 to 49 years worldwide. This is the age range in which people are typically at their most productive economically. At the same time, NCDs and their risk factors are largely preventable. Preventing problems from occurring or expanding represents by far the best approach to the NCDs tsunami – especially considering the burden of the risk factors. In the era of sustainable development a pivot to evidence-based prevention and health promotion holds four major benefits:
- People and community empowerment
- Human Rights-based
Side meeting purpose
Building societies, communities and environments that allow for healthy lifestyles and foster health-promoting norms is essential because treatment alone is not enough to beat NCDs and prevention and health promotion are economically sound interventions generating positive outcomes beyond the realm of health.
This side meeting will make the compelling case for alcohol prevention as a critical tool in the overall response to prevent and control NCDs. To achieve this, the side event will give voice to community representatives that are rarely part of the conversation but that contribute greatly to the efforts to beat NCDs.
Side meeting program
The side meeting will cover three overarching topics:
- Community mobilization for evidence-based prevention
- The investment case for the alcohol policy best buys as tools to effectively prevent harm, and
- The economics of prevention in the era of the SDGs.
Each topic will be presented by a high-level expert keynote speaker, followed by group discussions around prepared roundtable questions and a follow-up discussion in the plenary to foster broader dialogue and give voice to different perspectives and stakeholders. Each topic will be wrapped-up briefly by the moderator of the event, outlining concrete take aways.
- Community mobilization part
Questions for each speaker to answer:
- What do you do to mobilize a specific target group? Why? What is the effect?
- How does this help prevent NCDs and promote the SDGs?
- Visanu Srithavongse, Stop Drink Network, Thailand
- Pubudu Sumanasekara, ADIC, Sri Lanka
- Tungamirai Zimonte, YADD, Zimbabwe
- Pierre Andersson, IOGT-NTO Movement, Sweden
Group discussions and plenary questions
3. The investment case
Question for each speaker to address:
- How can investment in the alcohol policy best buys and alcohol prevention help improve health and promote development?
- Jess Beagley, NCD Alliance
- Douglas Webb, UNDP
- Asst. Prof. Nopphol Witvorapong, Thai Health Promotion Foundation
Group discussions and plenary questions
4. Economics of prevention
- Pierre Andersson, IOGT-NTO Movement Sweden
- Pubudu Sumanasekara, IOGT International
Plenary questions and discussion
5. Moderator wrap-up and conclusions
Side meeting objectives
- To connect the NCDs response to the larger SDGs response, through the lense of alcohol prevention and SDG 3.5
- To raise awareness of the evidence base for the economic soundness of alcohol prevention
- To share concrete best practices from communities around the world in how alcohol prevention is making a contribution to beating NCDs and promoting socio-economic development
- To inspire more action on policy and community level
Expected Output/ Outcomes
- Empowered and inspired participants on the subject of alcohol prevention and the investment case for the alcohol policy best buys
- Global network of community activists for alcohol prevention, conducting evidence-based best practice interventions promoting socio-economic development
- Overview of the state of the art in prevention science and the soundness of scientific evidence for alcohol prevention’s economic benefits
- Best practice guide on alcohol prevention to foster health and sustainable development