Foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) – which is highest in the world in South Africa – can be prevented through educating consumers, the South African Breweries (SAB) said on Tuesday

“Yet FAS is 100% preventable through education of women about the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, which is where we see ourselves playing a key role,” said Pamela Nkuna, SAB smart drinking and CSR manager Africa.

The latest Foundation for Alcohol Related Research revealed that South Africa has the highest prevalence of FAS in the world.

SAB, the country’s largest brewer, said it is ‘concerned’ about responsible drinking and the health of the communities in which it operates and supports the fight against FAS.

On Monday a FAS awareness event took place in Mpumalanga to bring attention to the problem. The condition results from a woman drinking alcohol while she is pregnant, causing irreversible brain damage and growth problems in the child she bears.

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The aim of the day was to develop and discuss intervention strategies intended to educate women and girls on the dangers of drinking alcohol before and during pregnancy, and on preventing disabilities and protecting the rights of children in the womb.

SAB North Region said it has provided three social workers, with the support of an auxiliary social worker, to the home and 50 starter packs with newborn necessities for new mothers visiting the home.

“We will also be providing solar panels for the home to generate electricity to support the home’s basic requirements,” Nkuna said.

The Cape region will be providing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) training for 20 health workers in clinics in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth.

In Jacobsdal, the central region will host a workshop to empower teachers and schools with the necessary skills and resources, required to work with learners with FAS, while also engaging with the community about related challenges.

In the Egoli region the company said it will do an internal activation to educate employees on the disorder, by creating ambassadors of responsible consumption.

SAB said that in 2016 it invested R3,1 million in the building of Hlayisani Centre of Hope in the North province, a project led by the Deputy Minister for Social Development, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, who was at the Centre of Hope for a three-kilometre walk from Khumbula crossing.

Author: ANA Newswire