National IDs to fight underage drinking – minister

National identity cards will help in the fight against underage drinking which has become one of the major challenges of youth in the country, minister of state for Public Health has said.
Ms Sarah Opendi made the remarks while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (on behalf of government) with Straight Talk Foundation and Uganda Breweries Limited to curb underage drinking in the country.
“In order to buy Alcohol in any bar or supply point, including the village level everyone one would need to show a national ID to enjoy a drink to avoid risks associated with alcoholism among our young generation,” she said.
The project dubbed ‘Red card to underage drinking’ seeks to promote a culture where under age consumption of alcohol is considered a taboo, especially in schools.
Ms Opendi said the fight against underage drinking calls for a concerted effort between government, teachers, parents, cooperate companies and the communities among which they live.
She said government will actively pursue this campaign as a way of promoting cultural transition among young people, adding that parents who have failed to control their children are a big threat to this country.
Ms Susan Ajok, the Straight Talk Foundation executive director, said the project, which will run in phases in the interim will engage more than 20 schools in Gulu and Kampala with a target of reaching more than 2,800 young people.
Mr Nyimpini Mabunda, the Uganda Breweries managing director, said they have developed a strong policy that prohibits young children from consuming alcohol.
He said it was a good opportunity for them to engage young people and teach them about the dangers associated with underage drinking.
“This partnership we hope will create awareness and a culture in Uganda where underage drinking is frowned upon,” he said.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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