Johannesburg - 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 percent 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.
SAB, the country’s largest brewer, said it was concerned about responsible drinking and the health of the communities in which it operates and supports the fight against FAS.
Earlier in the week an FAS awareness event took place in Mpumalanga to raise attention to the problem. The condition results from alcohol exposure during the mother's pregnancy, causing irreversible brain damage and growth problems.
The aim of the day was to develop and discuss intervention strategies intended to educate women and girls on the dangers of using alcohol before and during pregnancy, prevent disabilities and protect the rights of children from being robbed in the womb.
SAB’s North Region said it has also 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 in 2016 it invested R3.1-million towards 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 3km walk from Khumbula crossing.
African News Agency (ANA)