Time to take stock

The Trade and Industry Ministry will embark on a national campaign in De Aar next week to dissuade women from abusing alcohol during pregnancy.

The Trade and Industry Ministry will embark on a national campaign in De Aar next week to dissuade women from abusing alcohol during pregnancy.

Shocking statistics have revealed that many South African children suffer from foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

Research in Northern Cape has shown that half-a-million women abuse alcohol during pregnancy.

Foetal alcohol syndrome affects the growth spurts and mental abilities of children. Some may end up mentally retarded. FAS is increasingly common, especially in farming areas where the dop system once ruled.

Immediate and effective interventions should be implemented to promote a healthy lifestyle and moderate alcohol intake.

Education and poverty alleviation will go a long way to reducing the dependence of many on alcohol as a recreational tool or as a means of survival.

It would be as well if the government were to harness the impressive marketing powers of the liquor industry to bring the ill effects of FAS to its customers.

It is time perhaps thatthe government re-examined the addictive nature of alcohol and its attraction to the youth and pregnant mothers.

Warnings about the dangers of FAS should also be prominently displayed on papsak containers.

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