08 September 2022
Peddie, Eastern Cape: The Deputy Minister of Social Development, Mme Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, will conclude the 9-9-9 Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FASD) campaign in Kokstad - KwaZulu-Natal, tomorrow - 9 September 2022.
Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu has been going around the country educating communities, especially pregnant women, about the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant.
Today, 8 September 2022, she was joined by the Eastern Cape MEC for Social Development - Ms Bukiwe Fanta, talking to the community of Peddie about FASD.
Each of the speakers called for a coordinated approach to dealing with the prevention of FASD and the support of families who may have disabled children as a result of this preventable condition.
Nobuntu Botha (54), a caregiver, testified during the dialogue that she is looking after her grandchild who now has learning difficulties and she suspects that this may have been a result of the mother who took alcohol while she was pregnant. She explained that she struggled to integrate the child and find a suitable school but through the assistance of social workers, her grandchild is now at school.
Botha was part of the dialogue facilitated by the deputy minister who has been moving from province to province from 1 September - taking the 9-9-9 Campaign to communities throughout the country.
This campaign happens over a period of nine consecutive days, in all the nine provinces leading up to 9 September which is International Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder day. It seeks to mobilise communities to protect unborn babies by educating pregnant women and women of child-bearing age to avoid alcohol while pregnant or breastfeeding.
FASD Day is commemorated each year at nine minutes past nine on the ninth day of the ninth month (September) drawing attention to the fact that women should not drink alcohol while pregnant.
It is part of the coordination and implementation of the National Drug Master Plan (NMDP 2019-2024) which aims to build a society free of alcohol and drug abuse.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), South Africa has the highest reported FASD prevalence rate in the world. It is estimated that the country’s overall rate is at least 6%. There is no treatment for FASD but it can be prevented if women do not drink during pregnancy. The deputy minister was joined by the Central Drug Authority, traditional leaders, the EC liquor board, child activists, community members and pregnant women.
The deputy minister will commemorate FASD day in Kokstad, Kwazulu-Natal and members of the media are invited to join and cover the day organised as follows:
Date: 9 September 2022
Venue: Kokstad Town Hall, Kokstad, KwaZulu-Natal Province
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT