9-9-9 Campaign against Foetal Alcohol Syndrome kicks off in F State

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Social Development Deputy Minister, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, will today kick off the 9-9-9 Campaign against Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) in Mantsopa City hall in Ladybrand, Free State Province.

The Deputy Minister will criss-cross the country for nine days educating South Africans about the dangers of FASD.

9-9-9 stands for 9 consecutive days in 9 provinces leading up to the 9th day of September, which is International Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Day.

The campaign will be launched as an interactive dialogue with various sectors comprising of the Beer Association of South Africa, pregnant women, youth, parents of children with FASD, tavern and shebeen owners and traditional leaders.

“This initiative affords community members to exchange views on how to prevent FASD to protect children,” the department said.

FASD is a leading source of non-genetic developmental and intellectual disability globally and is usually associated with primary and secondary disabilities.

According to the department of Social Development, South Africa has been identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to have the highest reported prevalence of FASD in the world. 

FASD is a preventable condition which impacts negatively on unborn babies as a result of alcohol intake by mothers during pregnancy.

This condition also causes mental and physical life-long problems for unborn babies as a result of the mothers’ alcohol consumption during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

“Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy run the risk of giving birth to unhealthy babies because the alcohol is transferred through the mother’s blood and passes it on to the unborn baby through the placenta,” the department said.

The 9-9-9 campaign will run for 9 consecutive days ending on the 9th of September, which is International Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Day aimed at raising awareness and educating all citizens about this condition.

The Department of Social Development is the lead department in the coordination and implementation of the National Drug Master Plan (NDMP) which is aimed at achieving a drug free society for the benefit of all South Africans.

The department also has a role to implement programmes targeting at preventing alcohol related social ills including; gender-based violence, teenage pregnancy, HIV and Aids chronic and dysfunctional communities.

Upon conclusion in the Free State, the campaign will move to the Northern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and conclude in KwaZulu-Natal. – SAnews.gov.za