Deaths related to alcoholic liver disease increasingTshering Zam, Thimphu
Jan 6 2016
The number of people dying from alcoholic liver disease is increasing every year. From about 90 deaths in 2005, the number increased to 176 in 2014, according to the National Policy and Strategic Framework to reduce harmful use of alcohol.
Since 2005 onwards, about 100 people, on an average, are dying every year from alcoholic liver disease.
“I started drinking since 1972 when I was working at the Department of Forest in Tsirang. Then after, I was transferred to Gelegphu Distillery and I began to drink a lot,” said Kezang, who is suffering from alcoholic liver disease. He said he will quit drinking from today.
The Health Facility Report states the number of people suffering from alcoholic liver disease increased from over 2000 in 2012 to more than 3,000 in 2014.
A psychiatric with JDWNR Hospital in Thimphu, Dr.Damber K.Nirola said since the liver cannot break down the fats, the liver becomes fatty which leads to fibrotic tissue called cirrhosis. “The liver capacity to oxidize alcohol is very limited which means that it can metabolize only a very small amount of alcohol per hour.”
Dr.Nirola said it takes liver one hour to eliminate 30 millimetre of whiskey. “So, if we keep on drinking heavily, our liver gets overwhelmed with the amount of alcohol coming into the body.”
According to the Annual Health Bulletin 2014, maximum people between the age of 15-49 suffer from alcoholic liver disease.
The per capita alcohol consumption among Bhutanese, which stands at 8.47 litres, is much more than the per capita global consumption which is 6.2 litres.
From 2005-06, the government had to fork out Nu 29 M to treat people suffering from alcoholic liver disease.