WHO want women of child-bearing age banned from drinking alcohol

17 June 2021 - 14:24
By Batandwa Malingo
WHO says women of child-bearing age should be banned from drinking alcohol.
Image: 123RF/Somchai Jongmeesuk WHO says women of child-bearing age should be banned from drinking alcohol.

Women of child-bearing age should be banned from drinking alcohol. That is one of the proposals contained in the first draft of the World Health Organisation's Alcohol Action Plan 2022-2030.

WHO says that the harmful use of alcohol causes about three million deaths annually and the overall burden of disease and injuries attributable to alcohol use remains high.

It also said the implementation of some of the policies aimed at curbing harmful use of alcohol have not been smooth in its member states.

The organisation says its action plan, released on June 15, aims to boost effective implementation of the global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol as a public health priority and considerably reduce morbidity and mortality due to alcohol use — over and above general morbidity and mortality trends — as well as associated social consequences, and with that to improve the health and wellbeing of populations globally”.

To achieve these goals, it calls for appropriate action to prevention of the initiation of drinking among children and adolescents, prevention of drinking among pregnant women and women of child-bearing age, and protection of people from pressures to drink, especially in societies with high levels of alcohol consumption where heavy drinkers are encouraged to drink even more”. 

This, WHO believes, would also decrease chances of alcohol fetal conditions in children.

According to research, alcohol fetal disorder occurs in children whose mothers drink alcohol during pregnancy.

A 2018 study by Stellenbosch University found that in SA women who both drank alcohol and smoked during pregnancy had an almost three times higher risk of stillbirth compared to women who stayed away from these activities.