Tonight with Lester Podcast

Long time Societal effects of Foetal alcohol syndrome


Guest : Rhys Evans

Today is FASD awareness day,
The Foundation For Alcohol Related Research (FARR) recently concluded a three-year
study in the Saldanha Bay Municipality, which includes five small seaside towns on the
West Coast. It found a Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) prevalence rate of
6.42% (64 per 1 000) among children in Grade 1.
This is an alarming number. Before we can actually talk about the cause and effects of
drinking while pregnant, one should learn more about the history. It the past
(colonisation era), farm owners were known to give alcohol to farm workers in lieu of
payment in the Cape Provinces.
The rationale was to create a dependency on the substance and ensure that even if they
‘ran away’ or ‘absconded’, they would be controlled by their addiction and eventually
return to the farm for their next ‘fix’. It was termed the ‘Dop System’ or ‘Tot System’.
Although the system was eventually banned, the dependency on alcohol has been
passed on from one generation to another. South Africa is seeing a rising number of
FASD cases which is currently sitting at about 3 million people affected in the country.
Some obvious side-effects of FASD are:
• Mental disorders
• Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
• Depression
• Anxiety, just to name a few.
The effects of FASD are permanent and affect sufferers their entire lives. This is an
entirely preventable condition and can only be curbed by reducing maternal alcohol
consumption during pregnancy.
Rhys Evans, Managing Director at ALCO-Safe, would like the opportunity to further
discuss this topic and educate your listeners on the negative effects of FASD and how
ALCO-Safe can help to curb this epidemic.

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