HIS Excellency the Governor General, Sir Frank Ofagioro Kabui, spoke at the Queen’s Birthday celebration this last weekend when he said more should be done to educate the country on the dangers of alcohol abuse.
His Excellency cited in particular the undesirable social effects of alcohol consumption and revealed records had indicated 81.5 percent of the Solomon Islands population drunk alcohol.
Last year alone, he said, the total number of liquor licenses in Honiara was 158.
Sir Frank highlighted that alcohol abuse in the country was responsible for countless negative effects in the society.
A recent paper on alcohol use in the Pacific region, not just in the Solomon Islands, supports the words of the Governor General when it claims alcohol is a leading risk factor for disease and injury in the Pacific.
It is of particular importance as a risk factor in the context of non-communicable diseases.
In addition, a recent review of road traffic injury research observed that many studies implicated alcohol as a risk factor
Furthermore, alcohol use has been identified as a significant contributing factor to violence against women.
His Excellency is right to have raised the issue of the harmful alcohol use locally and its consequences are continuing to be public health, personal safety and security challenges that are mounting and must be addressed with a fresh political commitment to licensing and enforcement while reassessing the overall historical, contemporary social, cultural and economic influences on the present-day patterns of alcohol consumption in the Solomon Islands.