First train-the-trainer session in alcohol screening and brief interventions delivered in Uzbekistan


During the last six months, the WHO Regional Office for Europe together with consultants has been developing a train-the-trainer toolkit for alcohol screening and brief interventions (SBI) in primary health care settings. SBI includes the use of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) to assess patients’ level of alcohol consumption, followed by provision of a brief intervention to encourage behaviour change.

Dr Lars Møller, Programme Manager for Alcohol at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, along with consultants Dr Peter Rice and Dr Konstantin Vyshinski, delivered the first training workshop for trainers in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 25–26 April 2017. The materials developed for the SBI train-the-trainer workshop were discussed during expert meetings in 2016 and piloted in Moscow in December that year.

Evidence is good for the effectiveness of SBI in primary health care settings in decreasing alcohol use. This approach has been promoted as an important component of the health services’ response in the “European action plan to reduce the harmful use of alcohol 2012–2020”. While alcohol consumption in Uzbekistan is low compared to other countries in the WHO European Region, the total consumption of alcohol has increased over time. In 1992, the total consumption amounted to 2.9 litres of pure alcohol per person per year, and by 2014, had increased to 5.5 litres. About half of the alcohol consumed in Uzbekistan is unrecorded (i.e. informal and home-made alcohols, illegally produced or smuggled alcohol products and surrogate alcohol that is not officially intended for human consumption). This creates a need to tailor SBI training to ensure that practitioners are aware of the different types and ways in which alcohol is consumed in their country or region.

The European Region training manual for SBI has been developed with funding from the European Union, within the “Monitoring of national policies related to alcohol consumption and harm reduction (MOPAC)” project, and further adapted for eastern European countries with funds from the “Project on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases”, financed by the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. The training toolkit will be published online in the autumn of 2017.

The workshop was supported by funding from the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation within the context of the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases.