Khat consumption is low in Tigray and Bensangul regions of Ethiopia
borkena, Ethiopian News
A study conducted by Ethiopian Public Health Institute reveals that khat consuming population in Ethiopia is now 16 percent, according to a pro-government media in the country. Ethiopia’s population is estimated about one hundred million and according to the finding, 16 million people are affected by Khat addiction which is more than the total populations of some African countries.
While 16 percent is the average total for the country, there is regional variation in the number of people affected by the addition. Tigray and Benshangual Gumuz regions are regions with the least percent of khat consumer population. On the other hand, Harar has a high percentage of consumption. 61 % of the population in Harar consumes khat. The region is also known to be on of the leading producer of it. Away, a town in the region, an important Khat trading centre.
The study was part of research on risk factors for non-communicable disease. Among others, smoking and alcohol consumptions are considered in the study.
Another finding from the study is that alcohol consumption is soaring. 41 % of the population consumes alcohol.
Another trend that is apparent from the study is that the addition is affecting a potentially productive section of the society, the youth.
Although Khat addiction and alcoholism is not something new in the country, the problem was not at the level that threatens the country. Cities like Bahir Dar that were not known to be Khat consuming a few decades ago do now have a considerable section of youth population addicted to Khat.
In terms of alcohol, numerous beverage factories are opened in Ethiopia in the last two decades and there does not seem to be a regulation regarding consumption and promotion of alcohol products.
Currently, Ministry of Health and World Health Organization run a partnership rehabilitation program for alcohol and drug addicts.
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