Tebogo Msimanga |
The lack of family support, high levels of poverty, absence of partners – are some of the leading reasons expressed by women as their need to turn to drinking alcohol during pregnancy. This was told to Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu during her engagement with the community of Boitekong in the North West on Monday.
Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu took the 9-9-9 Foetal Alcohol Disorder (FASD) Campaign to the Boitekong township as an area that was identified as being one of the most recognised places for the high consumption of alcohol.
The prevalence of alcohol abuse in the township is said to be so bad that even children as young as 5 years old can easily get access to alcohol with no parental supervision.
Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu called on the young pregnant girls who came to the dialogue to look after themselves for the sake of their unborn babies. “You can only help me to fight FASD in this community by staying away from alcohol when you are pregnant. No amount of alcohol is safe for an unborn child.”
The 9-9-9 Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, is an advocacy initiative which seeks to mobilise communities towards protecting unborn babies by educating people, especially women of childbearing age about the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant or breastfeeding.
The campaign is part of coordination and implementation of the National Drug Master Plan (NDMP 2019 – 2024) which aims to build a society free of substance abuse.