WHO Representative in Vietnam Kidong Park speaks at the event (Photo: suckhoedoisong.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – The rate of alcohol use in Vietnam is at an alarming level with the average Vietnamese consuming approximately 6.6 litres of alcoholic drinks on an annual basis, according to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son.

Son shared the information at a seminar on building policies on preventing alcohol-related problems, held by the Health Ministry and the World Health Organisation (WHO) Vietnam in Hanoi on April 22.

Speaking at the event, the official said the production of alcohol in Vietnam is on the rise, while the world is following the opposite trend. Alcohol use creates 200 different diseases and is ranked third among top causes of early deaths and disabilities worldwide.

WHO Representative in Vietnam Kidong Park expressed his concern over alcohol abuse in Vietnam, which led to 79,000 deaths in 2016.

It is expected that by 2025, the country’s annual average consumption of alcohol will hit 7 litres.

However, as heard at the seminar, the country’s current legal system on the prevention of alcohol-related problems just consists of the Government’s 2017 Decree on the management of alcohol production and trade as well as the Prime Minister’s 2014 Decision on the national policy on preventing alcohol abuse by 2020. Both documents remain orientations and need to be turned into legal regulations. 

The ministry has been working to compile a draft law on combating alcohol-related problems, which will be submitted for a second time to the National Assembly (NA) at its 7th session next month. The ministry is still gathering recommendations from NA deputies regarding the draft law.-VNA