In a startling revelation, data from the Ghana Demographic Health Survey has shown a significant surge in alcohol consumption across Ghana, with an alarming 23% increase in intake. The most striking aspect of this concerning trend is that women in the Upper West Region have emerged as the leaders in the high prevalence rate of alcohol consumption among women in Ghana. According to the data, the youth between the ages of 15 and 34 years have the highest prevalence. The Volta region on the other hand has the highest prevalence of alcohol intake among men with a percentage of 47%.

Local businesses across the region recognized this trend with many establishments adapting to cater to this changing demographic. Alcohol joints and beer bars have sprung up in villages and towns, boasting carefully curated selections that appeal to a diverse range of palates. And their alcoholic products have appealed to a wider audience breaking the stereotype that alcohol is solely a masculine choice.

Advocates are attributing this to the low control on the promotion and selling of alcoholic products. “Any quarter you turn, there is alcohol joint. There is no regulation whatsoever. If alcoholic products prices are high, people will think twice before buying it” said a citizen who spoke to the media.

The Ghanaian Health Service has taken notice of the concerning trend and is considering implementing targeted interventions to address the issue. “We have done the consultations together with the relevant agencies including Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Mental Health Authority, World Health Organization (WHO) and the CSOs. And currently, we have a draft that has been reviewed and we have communicated officially to the Attorney General”.

As Ghana grapples with this unexpected shift in alcohol consumption patterns, it is clear that a comprehensive and multi-pronged approach is necessary to address the root causes and mitigate potential health and social consequences. With collaborative efforts from health professionals, community leaders, researchers, the media and policymakers, there is hope that Ghana can reverse this troubling trend and create a healthier future for all its citizens, regardless of gender or region.


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