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Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is 100% avoidable, minister tells female farmworkers

PICTURE: Supplied

PICTURE: Supplied

Published Aug 17, 2018

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Cape Town -  Western Cape Minister of Social Development Albert Fritz hosted over 100 women farmworkers from different farms around the Cederberg area on the West Coast on Friday, for a special women’s outreach and luncheon.

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The initiative was part of the department's ongoing Women's Month commemorations, with this year's agenda focusing on the plight of rural women.

Fritz  was joined by Cederberg Municipality Mayor Jimmy Bernard to celebrate the women who often go unnoticed as farm labourers. 

The event included the women sharing poetry, hosting a talent show and enjoying live music.

PICTURE: Supplied 

“Every women in this province is special, and deserves every right to live with dignity, safe from any form of abuse or gender-based violence”, said Fritz.

However, the event's focus was on spreading a social message too.

The West Coast Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) rate is among the highest in the world, and Fritz used today's platform to reiterate to the women that FAS is preventable within the various farming communities. 

“The FAS prevalence rate here on the West Coast is 64 children per 1000 affected (6.42%), making it one of the highest in the world... FAS is 100% avoidable if we prevent our pregnant relatives and friends from drinking," said Fritz.

He further committed to continue assisting rural women tackle their social ills.

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Cape Times 

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