'You can't just walk around and arrest pregnant women who drink'

According to statistics, South Africa is currently leading globally with a Foetal Alcohol Syndorme (FAS) prevalence of 6-29%.

Out of 187 countries, a rate of 111 per 1,000 people are born with the condition in South Africa.

This month, Deputy Minister of Social Development Hendrietta Bogapane-Zulu is spearheading a national campaign against FAS with the aim to create awareness about the dangers associated with consuming alcohol during pregnancy.

READ:The human face of foetal alcohol syndrome

Speaking to Africa Melane Bogapane-Zulu says arresting pregnant women is the not the correct approach.

I think you can't just walk around and arrest pregnant women, the first start that we need to do is to first understand what are the factual structural drivers that lead to women drinking when they are pregnant because it is a problem.

Hendrietta Bogapane-Zulu, Deputy Minister of Social Development

But also we need to try and understand why do they drink, is it because they don't have the information, is it because they are ignorant or is it because alcohol is readily available?

Hendrietta Bogapane-Zulu, Deputy Minister of Social Development

But at the rate that South Africa is, we lead the world in cases of foetal alcohol syndrome and this is not a good thing as this is 100% preventable.

Hendrietta Bogapane-Zulu, Deputy Minister of Social Development

She adds that they don't believe that arresting women is going to assist, we first want to ensure that our women and girls have the right information.

Listen below to the full interview:


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