In the last decade, data from the World Health Organization shows that the harmful consumption of alcohol has decreased around the world. But more must be done. As the world’s leading brewer, AB InBev is accelerating continued progress to disrupt harmful drinking worldwide through Smart Drinking initiatives.
One of our priorities is to provide Smart Drinking resources and evidence-based programs to consumers and communities. In dozens of countries, AB InBev, in collaboration with the AB InBev Foundation, has initiated cross-sector partnerships with local experts and governments in supporting more than 70 interventions aimed at reducing the harmful use of alcohol, including Responsible Beverage Service (RBS), and Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) programs.
Responsible Beverage Service expands to Nigeria
RBS provides owners, management and service staff at bars, restaurants, event venues and liquor stores with training to help prevent sales to minors and reduce underage drinking, binge drinking and drunk driving. It also highlights alcohol-related laws and includes compliance checks of liquor trading establishments.
This April, International Breweries Plc, AB InBev’s local brewer in Nigeria, launched the nation’s first RBS program, together with key stakeholders in health and safety, transport and hospitality sectors. Organizers aim to train 10,000 people on issues of alcohol abuse, including community champions and health workers who will focus on improving alcohol health literacy among pregnant women.
Nigeria’s first Responsible Beverage Service program was launched at International Breweries Plc’s Smart Drinking Roundtable Session. From left: Temitope Oguntokun, AB InBev Legal and Corporate Affairs Director - Nigeria; Professor Adesegun Fatusi, President - Society of Adolescent and Young People’s Health; Hugo Rocha, AB InBev President - BU Africa West; Dr. Kemi Odukoya, Nigerian Medical Association; and Professor Femi Ajibola, Managing Director - New Nigeria Foundation.
“Smart Drinking has become part of our DNA and we continue to strive to bring that culture to our communities,” said Hugo Rocha, Managing Director, International Breweries. “Our commitment extends far beyond saying ‘drink responsibly’: it spans our global Smart Drinking goals, the work of the AB InBev Foundation, the commitments of our brands, and the behaviors that we ask our consumers to practice every time they pick up a beer.”
Since 2018, International Breweries Plc and its partners have reached more than 15 million people with educational outreach and initiatives on responsible alcohol consumption.
Screening and Brief Intervention program launches in Zambia
SBI is a preventive program that measures an individual’s drinking pattern during outpatient or wellness visits and motivates those identified as being at risk of harmful consumption of alcohol to change their behavior.
Representatives from Zambian Breweries, Churches Health Association of Zambia and the Ministry of Health gathered to kick off the Screening and Brief Intervention program on 19 April.
Last month, Zambian Breweries, along with Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ), the AB InBev Foundation and the Zambian government, jointly launched a new SBI program in the capital city of Lusaka.
“We recognize that harmful alcohol use creates a barrier for fostering health and wellness within communities,” said Tom Achoki, Senior Director of Strategy and Impact - AB InBev Foundation. “That’s why we are committed to building and maintaining effective partnerships that will allow us to scale up evidence-based interventions and work toward further addressing the problem.”
The program will be piloted in selected Lusaka healthcare facilities where workers will be trained to screen for low, medium and high-risk alcohol dependency among outpatients, conduct brief interventions and refer high-risk individuals to counselling and rehabilitation treatment services.
“Alcohol represents a key public health and developmental challenge for our country,” said Karen Sichinga, CHAZ Executive Director. “It is therefore a great source of inspiration to join hands with Zambian Breweries and AB InBev Foundation in tackling alcohol abuse among young people. We challenge other private sector players to take a leaf from Zambian Breweries and the AB InBev Foundation."
For more on Responsible Beverage Service programs and Screening and Brief Intervention, see the AB InBev 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance Report .