Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) is joining the world in commemorating the International Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) Day. Every year on September 9th, International FAS Awareness Day is observed in countries in and around the world.
Bells are rung at 9:09 in every time zone.
South Africa has the highest reported FAS prevalence rates in the world, ranging from 26/1000 (2,6%) in Gauteng to 282/1000 (28,2%) in the Northern Cape Province (May 2016; Olivier, 2016; Urban, 2016).
An FAS study that was conducted in Gqeberha also shows the FAS prevalence rate of 130/1000.
Babies whose mothers drank alcohol during their pregnancy can be born with birth defects and developmental disabilities. The problems that can happen when babies are exposed to alcohol are grouped together and called Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs). These include a wide range of physical, behavioural, and learning problems.
FAS is 100% irreversible, but it is also 100% preventable. Importantly, NO amount of alcohol is safe to use during pregnancy.
FAS affects children in the following ways, but not limited to: Poor growth - new-borns may have low birth weights and small heads. They may not grow or gain weight as well as other children. Birth defects - FAS can cause heart, bone, and kidney problems. Vision problems and hearing loss are common. Seizures and other neurologic problems such as learning disabilities, and poor balance and coordination. Delayed Development – kids may not reach milestones at the expected time.
In commemorating the International FAS, ECLB is embarking on rigorous campaigns in Gqeberha, which are used as platforms to educate women and communities about the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, which may result in FAS, Rape and diseases associated with alcohol abuse.
Schools, clinics, liquor outlets and Malls will be visited in the Gqeberha area to reach a broad spectrum of the community with the FAS messages.
The commemoration is being organized in partnership with various stakeholder such as SAPS, EC Health, CPF’s, EC Education and Local NGOs. The theme of the campaign: “Protect your unborn baby, do not drink during pregnancy”.
Media is, therefore, cordially invited to be part of the campaign to assist to spread the message of the scourge of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome in communities.
Details of the event are as follows:
Date : 08- 10 September 2021
Venues : Five Clinics, Five Schools, Five Tarvens, Two Taxi ranks, Four Malls All in Gqeberha.
Time : 08h00 - 16h00
For enquiries you can contact Mgwebi Msiya on 0605016418.