Author Date


Degree Name



Public Health


Life Sciences

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Jeff Glenn

First Faculty Reader

Frost Steele

Second Faculty Reader

Randy Page

Honors Coordinator

Len Novilla


informal alcohol, regulation, violence, traditional brewers, alcohol policy


Alcohol consumption and consequential public health problems have recently increased in Sub-Saharan Africa and alcohol has been identified as the leading contributor to the burden of disease in the region. While Malawi has a relatively low overall alcohol consumption rate, the majority of the alcohol produced and consumed in the country is informal or unrecorded alcohol which present significant monitoring and regulatory challenges, in addition to greater health risks. This article explores the community level perspectives from traditional brewers of alcohol, and provides a comprehensive look into their experiences, perspectives, and the roles they play in their communities. In addition to explaining the composition and production of their alcohols, the brewers interviewed shared their perspectives on the effect of alcohol in their communities, their economic reliance on their trade, mitigating alcohol related violence at their establishments and their thoughts on alcohol regulation by both traditional authorities and the government. These brewers provide an important, and previously missing, perspective to policymakers and researchers seeking to find innovative ways to limit the harmful use of informal alcohol.


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