Scaling up of a community-based alcohol education program in rural Sri Lanka
In rural Sri Lanka, alcohol consumption is a significant social and medical problem. The aim of this project is to scale up and widen implementation of a successful pilot study of a community-based alcohol intervention carried out in a Sri Lankan rural village (Siriwardhana, Dawson, & Abeyasinge, 2013).
The pilot utilized brief interventions and participatory drama to produce a sustained reduction in male alcohol use, improved depression scores in women and restoration of the village’s normal social dynamic. The study is based in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka.
Project period: 2018-2022
Participants from the Global Health Section, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen
- Flemming Konradsen
- Jane Brandt Sørensen
- University of Sydney, Australia
- University of Edinburgh, UK
- Rajarata University of Sri Lanka
- University of Peradinya, Sri Lanka
- South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration
- Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Sri Lanka
- The North Central Provincial Health Ministry, Sri Lanka
- The National Authority on Alcohol and Tobacco, Sri Lanka
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases
In rural Sri Lanka, alcohol consumption is a significant social and medical problem, strongly linked with high incidence of suicide and self-harm. In terms of social and culturally deleterious impacts, alcohol is a significant contributor to domestic violence, depression and poverty in families and disruption of social function and traditional networks in small communities. Health effects include alcohol related cirrhosis cases and accidents. In Sri Lanka there is a high prevalence of illicit alcohol use and so the usual policies advocated aimed at reducing consumption are not well suited in this context.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, the North Central Provincial Health Ministry and the National Authority on Alcohol and Tobacco, the aim of this study is to implement a scaled up trial of the intervention delivered in the pilot study. The study intervention will be delivered to at risk villages in a stepped wedge design and include:
- Health clinic with brief alcohol interventions
- Four ‘village based forum’ dramas
- Community health promotion materials
To evaluate the effect of the interventions we are using a series of survey instruments that have been locally validated as well as participatory qualitative methods.