As Liberians prepare to celebrate the country’s 169th Independence anniversary which is often characterized by festivities marked by drinking binges, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Liberia, Francis Kateh, has emphasized that the huge intake of alcohol is worrying for the health of the citizens, especially young people.
In a conversation with The Capitol Times, the Country’s Chief Medical Officer lamented that the current alcohol intake level is scaring and citizens must be warned of the danger associated with such lifestyle. Medical reports have proven that drinking excessive alcohol causes blackouts, memory loss and anxiety amongst youth and adults. Long-term drinking can also result in permanent brain damage, serious mental health problems and alcohol dependence or alcoholism. It is also reported that teenagers are mostly affected as alcohol damages parts of their brain, affecting behavior and the ability to learn and remember. People who drink a lot of alcohol have more lung infections, and are more likely to suffer collapsed lungs and can be more likely to get pneumonia. According to Dr. Kateh, the current high consumption rate of these alcoholic substances poses severe health threats especially to excessive consumers. He noted that due to the situation, Liberia risks experiencing an alarming rate of alcohol related diseases including hepatitis, liver complications amongst others. “There is a need for us to educate our people so that they take ownership of their own health, because your health is your wealth”, he stated, adding, “We want our youthful population to know that this thing (alcohol) is dangerous, we must try as hard as possible to avoid huge intake of this substance”.