There is extensive research highlighting the negative short term and long term impact of alcohol use.
Although there is a vast amount of research investigating alcohol use among youth in high-income countries; there is a lack of research on alcohol use among youth in low-income countries
Uganda has very high alcohol consumption rates.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence and context of alcohol use, problem drinking and alcohol-related harm among boys and girls in the slums of Kampala, Uganda.
The researchers examined data collected through the Kampala Youth Survey, a cross-sectional survey that examined risk behaviours and exposures, with a primary focus on alcohol use, violence, sexual risk behaviours and HIV.
Results from the study found:
- Among all participants, the prevalence of any alcohol use in the past 12 months was 31%.
- A higher percentage of girl drinkers reported having unprotected sex due to alcohol consumption, compared to boy drinkers.
- For girls and boys who drank, nearly half met the criteria for problem drinkers.
- The prevalence of alcohol use among youth in our population was nearly 2.5 times higher than the alcohol use prevalence among street youth in Ghana.
These results indicate there is a significant problem with youth alcohol consumption in Uganda.
In conclusion, the authors suggest:
"targeted interventions and alcohol prevention initiatives are urgently needed to prevent alcohol consumption among youth and to decrease the amount of alcohol-related disease and mortality burden."