Alcohol never safe for foetus

2015-09-16 06:00
MEMBERS and supporters of Grassroots Edge march through the streets of Galeshewe in order to create awareness of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). 
Boipelo Mere

MEMBERS and supporters of Grassroots Edge march through the streets of Galeshewe in order to create awareness of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Photo: Boipelo Mere

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THE ninth day of the ninth month connects symbolically to the nine-month duration of pregnancy. That is why people around the world give support on this day to all mothers who abstain from alcohol during pregnancy.

This is according to Richard Jones, a board member of the Rotary Club of Kimberley South, during his presentation on Wednesday (09/09) at the Galeshewe Recreational Hall.

Jones said that according to research, any level of alcohol use interferes with the normal development of the unborn child, increasing the risk of giving birth to a baby with foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

“The clear message is that no level of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. Even low levels of alcohol cross the placenta to the developing baby,” emphasised Jones.

According to Jones, research suggested that the reason why people drink during pregnancy, is either because they have little information about the risks or because they may not realise they are pregnant.

They may have an alcohol dependancy and often there is stress and other life events like poor social support by partners, family or friends.

International FASD Awareness Day is observed by Rotary and Grassroots Edge and is part of a campaign, funded by Rotary Global, to educate youth about these alcohol related disorders.

Grassroots Edge, a non-profit organisation, was founded in 2014 and uses interactive methods to inspire, inform and mobilise people to lead healthier lives.

Grassroots Edge also helps to link individuals to important health services such as HIV testing and counselling and medical male circumcision.

The programme started in the morning when volunteers and members embarked on a foetal alcohol awareness march from Homestead Shoprite to the recreational hall in Galeshewe

Jones said they focused on young people because of the three truths.

“The three truths are: knowledge is power, education is key and youth are the future.”

Olebogeng Ntong, a team member of Grassroots Edge, was impressed with the event.

“We are happy with the results as the march even attracted members of the community to the hall where the main event was held,” Ntong said.

Rotary is a non-profit public service organisation whose members get involved on different levels of communities to promote integrity and advance world peace, understanding and goodwill.

This year Rotary has joined forces with Grassroots Soccer, Grassroots Edge and Hope in South Africa to teach young people about the morbid effect of alcohol on their unborn child

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