In order to decline the escalating rate of drinking in the region, the Pan American Health Organization – (PAHO) has launched the worlds’ first digital health operator named ‘Pahola‘. This will assist countries in reducing their rising alcohol consumption rate.
While launching Pahola, the Director-General of the World Health Organization – (WHO) – Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, noted in a video message, “Alcohol is the leading risk factor for premature mortality and disability among people aged between – 15 and 49 years, so any and every tool that can help people to reduce their risk and lead a healthier life is welcome”.
The Director-General expresses his hope that Pahola will prove to be very successful in the Americas region and across the world, adding that, “New technologies, including artificial intelligence, are powerful tools for expanding access to information and care”.
Pahola will provide general information related to the risks of high consumption of alcohol, communicating interactively and confidentially with the individuals while asking questions regarding their alcohol consumption.
PAHO further informed, “If people then decide to cut down on drinking, Pahola can help them create a plan that includes identifying triggers and figuring out how to cope with them”.
The organisation further informed that the services would be provided in different languages, including English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
While the Assistant Director of PAHO – Dr Jarbas Barbosa, cited, “PAHO’s goal with Pahola is to assist people better understand the harms caused by alcohol consumption, increase access to reliable information, facilitate self-assessment of alcohol-related risks and take concrete steps to decrease alcohol use”.
The organisation further noted the alcohol consumption has rapidly increased in the Americas region, to which around 379,000 deaths are annually reported.
Apart from this, the organisation has also initiated a public education campaign – “Live Better, Drink Less”, to make aware people of the harmful effects of alcohol.