22 Mar 2012

Alcohol abuse growing in PNG Western Highlands

7:47 pm on 22 March 2012

Health authorities in Papua New Guinea's Western Highlands Province say alcohol abuse is a growing problem.

The provincial hospital, Mt Hagen General, recorded almost 1,600 alcohol related cases between May and August last year.

Of these cases, about 114 were people who had been hit by cars with drivers under the influence.

The Director for the Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority Dr Michael Dokup says many of the problem drinkers are youths or adults who earn good money.

"The majority of the population are rural based. This is a money making... generating projects are many. People are able to have money in their pockets, and this has led them to buy alcohol and consume it. And it's the abuse, it's the people who consume it and cause problems for others in the community."

Dr Michael Dokup says more education and counselling services are needed for people who are abusing alcohol.