Informal alcohol in Malawi: stakeholder perceptions and policy recommendations

J Public Health Policy. 2014 Feb;35(1):119-31. doi: 10.1057/jphp.2013.43. Epub 2013 Nov 21.


Through the eyes of those involved in the alcohol policy-making process in Malawi, we explored the role of informal (non-commercial) alcohol in rural communities, its harmful effects, and implications for appropriate national policy. Harms included early drinking initiation, violence, and sexual risk exposure. Informants suggested that policy should address informal alcohol's content, selling times, and easy access. Because most informal alcohol producers are women who rely upon sales for subsistence, policies must avoid limiting women's economic opportunities while protecting community health.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcoholic Beverages* / economics
  • Female
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans
  • Malawi / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Marketing / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Policy Making
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data