The EAC has over time noted the increasing trends in alcohol, drugs and other substances use and their implications on the health and socio-economic status of the affected populations across the region. Consequently, basing on the EAC’s emphasis to strengthen regional and national programs targeting key and vulnerable populations as enshrined in its HIV & AIDS, TB and STI multi-sectoral strategic plan and implementation framework 2015-2020 which is anchored on the EAC Health Policy, the EAC secretariat following a directive of the EAC Ministers of Health in their 6th Ordinary meeting embarked on development of a comprehensive policy to cover prevention, control and management of alcohol, drugs and other substances use in the region.
The EAC Regional Policy on Prevention, Management and Control of Alcohol, Drugs and Other Substance use recognizes that alcohol, drugs and other substance use or consumption is associated problems arising from the complex relationship between the individual consumer of alcohol, drugs and other substances and the broader cultural, political, social, economic and physical environment. Therefore, this policy provides broad framework within which all stakeholders in the region will contribute to the reduction of the negative consequences caused by Alcohol, drugs, and other substances use in the EAC region with specific emphasis on comprehensive prevention, control and management of the harmful effects of alcohol and drug use including provision for strategies for the rehabilitation of persons with alcohol, drugs and other substance use disorders. With the aims of the policy anchored on; prevention of the youth from initiating alcohol and drug use; control the production supply and distribution of illicit and licit alcohol as well as narcotic drugs in the region, and management of alcohol and drug related harmful effects including, Harm reduction for those that are already dependent on drugs. This policy also promotes and protects the health well-being of the citizens of the East African Community.
The EAC Secretariat is committed to creating an enabling environment to make it possible for all stakeholders to execute their roles. The EAC Secretariat will coordinate the overall implementation of the policy across Partner States and will develop relevant strategic tools to facilitate adoption and implementation of the policy at Partner State level in anticipation that all the initiatives within the policy pave way for a healthy and prosperous East African Community thereby supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.