BUSINESS

THE AB INBEV FOUNDATION, ZAMBIAN BREWERIES, AND THE CHURCHES HEALTH ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA PARTNER TO ADDRESS HARMFUL USE OF ALCOHOL IN ZAMBIA

By  | 

Cross-sector partnership advances programme for early detection of harmful alcohol consumption

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Zambian Breweries has joined hands with the Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ) to help the AB InBev Foundation and the Zambian government address the harmful consumption of alcohol through a Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) programme in selected Lusaka clinics.

In collaboration with the AB InBev Foundation, Zambian Breweries and the Ministry of Health have developed the SBI programme to make progress in addressing the harmful use of alcohol, which can also contribute to mental and general health conditions.

Through this newly formed partnership with CHAZ, the SBI programme will be piloted in healthcare facilities to advance the development of a system of identification and classification of low, medium and high-risk alcohol dependency amongst outpatients, as well as support the linkage of high-risk individuals to counselling and rehabilitation systems in the country.

The program will support the healthcare system with evidence-based preventive services during outpatient or wellness visits including training healthcare workers in identifying the harmful use of alcohol, implementing in-person frontline screenings, conducting community engagements and awareness campaigns and ensuring sustainability of the program.

As a key partner in the SBI programme, CHAZ will deliver and build the capacity of the selected health facilities and communities to deliver quality screening and brief intervention and referral to treatment services. In addition, these health facilities will participate in further needs-based skills building and institutional strengthening to ensure the delivery of programme.

“We recognize that harmful alcohol use creates a barrier for fostering health and wellness within communities. That’s why we are committed to building and maintaining effective partnerships that will allow us to scale up evidence-based interventions and work toward addressing the problem,” said Tom Achoki, Senior Director of Strategy and Impact, at AB InBev Foundation.

On engaging in cross-sector partnerships, Sam Stephens, the Executive Director of AB InBev Foundation, emphasized that “Our continued focus is to work with issue experts in local communities to deliver a significant, measurable and sustainable impact.”

On the announcement, Zambian Breweries Country Director Michelle Kilpin states, “We are grateful to partner with CHAZ and the government on the expansion of the SBI programme. We believe this is a strong next step toward addressing a critical problem facing the country. Our work to date with ABIF and the Ministry of Health has proven the importance of cross-sector collaboration in supporting local communities through evidence-based approaches. The SBI program is one additional measure to culminate AB InBev and the Foundation’s long-standing global smart drinking agenda.”

“A good corporate citizenship demands sensitivity to the key challenges faced by communities. Alcohol represents a key Public Health and developmental challenge for our country. It is therefore a great source of inspiration to join hands with Zambian Breweries and AB InBev Foundation in tackling the growing number of young people abusing alcohol and thereby robbing the country of its potential. We challenge other private sector players to take a leaf from Zambian Breweries and AB InBev Foundation.” said Mrs. Karen Sichinga, CHAZ Executive Director. Mrs Sichinga further stated, “CHAZ stands ready to partner with organisations that are committed to improving the health of communities”.

Roughly 80% of psychiatric conditions in Zambia have been related to the harmful consumption of alcohol, according to the Chainama Hills international report of 2019. Research shows that two thirds of men, a third of women, and a third of underage individuals consume alcohol across the country.

During his recent maiden State of the Nation address, President H.E Hakainde Hichilema acknowledged the government’s steadfast commitment to curbing the harmful use of alcohol among young people, adding that the National Alcohol Policy had created an enabling environment for a coordinated response among stakeholders to address the issue.

On the National Alcohol Policy, Ms. Kilpin states, “Zambian Breweries supports all efforts tailored toward the implementation of the National Alcohol Policy. We believe that when consumed responsibly that alcohol can bring people together for a better society, but that alcohol can cause harm when consumed outside of the environment detailed in the Policy. This includes the widespread production, sale and distribution of unregulated, Illicit alcohol commonly referred to as juntaor tujilijili denting the image of legitimate businesses in the alcohol sector. This has been exacerbated by the packaging and sale of opaque beer in bulk containers, against liquor trading regulations.”

About The AB InBev Foundation

Established in 2017, the AB InBev Foundation is working energetically with stakeholders around the world to contribute toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which provide a robust framework for addressing the biggest challenges facing humanity. The Foundation implements public-private partnerships anchored in evidence-based programming and measurement to advance positive social and behavior change.

About AB InBev in Zambia

Zambian Breweries Plc is part of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the largest brewer in the world, with more than 400 beer brands and some 200,000 employees in over 50 countries. It is also one of the world’s largest bottlers of soft drinks.

Zambian Breweries was established in Zambia in 1968 and its product range has grown to include clear beers such as Mosi Lager, Castle, Carling Black Label, Eagle beer, Stella Artois and Budweiser.