20 Sep 2006

Solomons government to battle alcohol abuse

7:34 pm on 20 September 2006

The Solomon Islands health minister, Clay Forau, says the government has plans to legislate alcohol use.

Attending a World Health organisation meeting in Auckland for the Western Pacific region this week, he says the Solomon Islands government needs to get fewer people to drinkto excess.

A WHO report says there is a strong bias to male drinkers in Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Vanutu and Solomon Islands.

Mr Forau says it is a concern that up to half of all accidents in the Solomon Islands are related to excessive alcohol and illegal substances.

"We are currently putting up messages, and checking on people driving like this with blood and alcohol tests. We are currently doing this without any legislation."

Clay Forau, the Solomons health minister.

The WHO says the Solomons has a lower percentage of alcohol users in populations at 20 to 30 percent, compared to up to 80 percent or 90 percent in French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna.