September 9th marks the World Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Day which aims to raise awareness on this syndrome.
However, according to the Foundation for Alcohol Related Research (FARR), South Africa has the highest Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) rate in the world.
It is reported that an estimated 3 million children are born with FAS in South Africa every year.
FAS is caused by mothers who consume alcohol during pregnancy, and causes physical and cognitive complications for children.
CapeTalk’s John Maytham speaks to Vivien Lourens who discovered 19 years ago that her adopted daughter was born with FAS.
Lourens has since initiated the FAS Information Centre to help parents learn about how to prevent FAS.
When I took her they told me she wouldn’t last a weekend— Vivien Lourens, Founder of FAS Information Centre
When I took her for check-up, I was told she had FAS which I knew nothing about and started doing some research— Vivien Lourens, Founder of FAS Information Centre
According to Lourens, at 19 her daughter can’t read nor write. She says she can’t do basic things that children her age are able to do like going to cinema to watch a movie.
Her crowning achievement is to make two minutes noodles— Vivien Lourens, Founder of FAS Information Centre
Listen to the full conversation on The John Maytham Show: