Energy drinks banned in schools and hospitals

Energy drinks banned in schools and hospitals
January 03 13:22 2017

Energy drinks have been banned in public schools as well as the government-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Malé and the hospital in the capital’s suburb Vilimalé.

The ban on selling energy drinks from cafés in the hospital premises came into effect on Sunday.

In an announcement last week, the IGMH said the availability of energy drinks inside the hospital would have a negative effect on plans to launch a health awareness campaign this year.

“Starting January 1, 2017, any sort of energy drink except those used as medicine will be banned from all shops and canteens in the hospital,” reads the announcement.

“We appeal for the use of fresh and healthy products instead of energy drinks.”

The two cafés in IGMH, the country’s main tertiary hospital, and the Vilimalé hospital are managed by third parties.

The government is also planning to hike import duties on energy and fizzy drinks by 20 percent this year. The consumption of energy drinks such as Red Bull is common among Maldivian youth.

According to statistics published by the customs authority, 19 million energy drink cans were imported to the Maldives in 2015.

The education ministry also issued a circular instructing all public schools in the Maldives to ban energy drinks when the academic year begins in late January.

In a more comprehensive ban, the education ministry also instructed schools to disallow advertisements for energy drinks inside or outside school premises as well as on adjacent buildings.

Energy drink sellers cannot sponsor school events or sports activities, according to the circular.

The ministry said the circular was issued after the president’s office communicated its decision to ban energy drinks in schools.

“Any advertisement of an energy drink on roads adjacent to school premises or energy drink advertisements that are visible while inside school premises should be reported to the education ministry if in Malé or to the island or city councils [in the atolls],” reads the circular.