International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day 2022

 The 9th of September is International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day. The day aims to highlight the risk of alcohol harm to unborn babies as well as the lifelong challenges faced by those living with the condition. According to the World Health Organization, South Africa has the highest reported FASD prevalence rates in the world. The country has an estimated average rate of 6% of globally reported cases - and in some communities in the Western Cape, the average rates climb even higher.

Community members urged the deputy minister of social development to take substance abuse campaigns to the shebeens and taverns.

Foundation for Alcohol Related Research FARR CEO Dr Leana Olivier, stated that alcohol consumption during pregnancy is the leading cause of preventable intellectual disability in the world. She said that It can lead to severe and lifelong disabilities collectively referred to as FASD.

Each year on the 9th day of the 9th month at 9 minutes past 9, bells are rung across the world to raise awareness about FASD, and the irreversible damage to unborn children caused by the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy.

The symbolism of the number 9 is significant, as a woman is ordinarily pregnant for nine months; hence the ringing of a school, church or handbell on the 9th day of the 9th month at 09:09, as a call to action.

Effects of alcohol on your child:

• Increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and the baby having a low birthweight

• Children with FASD are slow in reaching milestones, such as sitting, walking, and talking.

• they often have a lower IQ than an average child

And they often find it difficult to concentrate and have to be taught the same skills many times.

Children with FASD will have damaged Organs especially the brain, eyes, ears and heart.

• The baby’s facial features could be affected.

• Difficulty with interpersonal relationship problems.

• Developmental disabilities such as fine motor development, coordination, arithmetic and cause and effect reasoning.


by Everngelista Muza


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