Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Conference to be Held on 6 and 7 October 2005 | Western Cape Government


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Conference to be Held on 6 and 7 October 2005

29 September 2005
A Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Conference will be held on Thursday, 6 October and Friday, 7 October 2005 at the Sports Science Institute in Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa.

The Western Cape Department of Health and its partners, the Departments of Education, Social Services and Poverty Alleviation, and Economic Affairs, the Medical Research Council and Non-Governmental Organisations are organising the two day conference.

The topic of the conference is, "New Developments pertaining to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)".The first day of the conference will have a research focus while the second day will highlight the urban and rural roleplayers already involved with prevention and intervention strategies in the community.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a preventable birth defect caused by the mother drinking alcohol during her pregnancy. The effects can range from severe physical and learning disability to milder forms of learning difficulty and behavioural problems. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is the most severe form of FASD. Research findings have indicated that approximately 24,000 children are born with FASD in SA per annum. The incidence of FAS may be as high as 8% of all newborns in high risk communities in the Western Cape Province.

The conference is aimed at provincial, rural and urban managers; departmental representatives; politicians; non-governmental organisations and the mass media. Fellow partners in research from the USA have already registered their attendance.

The programme of the conference and the list of speakers are attached for further information.

News-worthy item: Wine Farmers will launch a FASD Trust on 7 October at 14:00.

The conference is sponsored by the Departments of Health and Education (Western Cape), Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA), Sports Science Institute, KWV, South African Breweries (SAB), Wines of South Africa: UK Importers Committee (WOSA) and Shoprite/Checkers.

“Babies thrive on love not alcohol”

Leana Olivier of the Maternal, Child and Women's Health Sub-Directorate (Department of Health) stated, "As FASD is a completely preventable form of mental disability, we hope to bridge the gap between those working in research and those working in service-delivery. With the highest reported FASD statistics in the world where studies have been done, we need now to become more targeted in our approach to reduce the number of children with this disorder".

Media Enquiries: 

Maureen Mc Crea
Tel: 021 918 1708

FASD Conference Enquiries:
Leana Olivier
Conference Director
Cell: 083 275 0202