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Focus on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

 

The City of Cape Town is now also tackling the serious problem of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) at school level. The Directorate of Social Development and Early Childhood Development has embarked on a pilot project at six primary schools that will reach 120 Grade Seven learners by June. This initiative includes the use of a specially designed baby simulator which teaches learners about the effect of FAS on babies and also exposes them to the realities of child care. “The effects of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome are permanent and irreversible. There is no cure or treatment and FAS seriously impairs a child’s lifetime ability to function mentally, physically and socially and to achieve their full potential”, says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Social Development and Early Childhood Development, Suzette Little.  The programme also addresses substance abuse, specifically drinking during pregnancy, and emphasises the importance of abstinence and safe sexual practices. At the end of last year,  there were more than 2 500 pregnant learners in the Western Cape – 78 of them in primary school.

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