Media Release: Minister creates awareness of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder
Minister Mbombo creates awareness of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD)
On Monday, 4 September, Western Cape Health Minister, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo together with our NPO partner, Early Years Services,
held an educational session about the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant at Vanguard Community Health Centre. The session was attended by expectant mothers and their partners.
The theme for the day was ‘strengthening the constructive role of males and families in the life of a pregnant woman’. Strong families and refraining from drinking are key messages in the provincial Health department’s First 1000 Days campaign. Minister Mbombo emphasized that males, families and broader society have a role to play in preventing FASD.
“FASD is fully preventable, but yet it continues to be a serious health issue in the Western Cape. This is due to women continuing to drink alcohol during pregnancy. As government we are spreading the message directly to expectant mothers and their partners in our facilities, and through the First 1000 Days campaign. Alcohol harms reduction has been prioritized as a Game Changer by the Province,” said Minister Mbombo.
FASD is irreversible and drinking while pregnant is a massive injustice to an unborn child. Partners of pregnant women must also take responsibility by making a conscious decision about their drinking habits while their partners are expecting.
“As government, we cannot walk into each and every pregnant woman’s home to ensure that they do not drink alcohol while pregnant. Families and communities must play a vital role in encouraging behavioral change, and in correcting each other;” concluded Mbombo.
This session is a lead up to the World Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Day, which is commemorated on the 9th of September across the world. The day is used to create awareness amongst expecting mothers about the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant.