ABL Reaches Out To Pregnant Women On FASD Day
5th September 2017
Accra Brewery Ltd. (ABL), in furtherance of its commitment to ensure every experience with beer is a positive one, has used its commemoration of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Day to explicitly stress the need for women preparing for pregnancy, and those already pregnant, to absolutely avoid consuming alcohol.
Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) refer to a group of conditions, characterised by facial deformities, behavioural, and learning problems that occur in persons whose parents, especially their mothers, consumed alcohol while pregnant or preparing for pregnancy. FASD Day is marked on the 9th of September every year. And through its ‘Alcohol and Pregnancy’ Programme, a programme that partners major health facilities every year across the country, ABL, a subsidiary of ABInBev, the world’s leading brewer, has sought to educate and warn the alcohol-dependent about such dangers.
Speaking at the Programme, this time held in partnership with the Public Health Department (Antenatal) of the Police Hospital, Accra, the company’s Director of Legal & Corporate Affairs, Ms. Adjoba Kyiamah, said ‘the initiative forms part of the company’s wider efforts at promoting smart drinking, and has directly impacted the lives of over 3000 women since its inception 4 years ago’.
‘There is evidence that suggests ingesting alcohol in copious amounts before and during pregnancy can lead to a slew of complications for the unborn baby. We are, therefore, understandably concerned about ensuring the alcoholic beverages we sell, chief amongst them being CLUB Beer, are not the cause of complications, or any such negative impacts’, she said.
To underscore the company’s resolve in tackling FASDs head on, Ms. Kyiamah further said, ‘we are also looking beyond ourselves to ensure that no pregnant woman suffers ill consequences from any type or source of alcohol consumption’.
She reaffirmed her company’s commitment to abiding by the highest professional standards in the sale of its alcoholic beverages, firmly noting that ‘the competitive landscape of the alcoholic beverage industry will not impede our commitment’ in that regard.
The Matron of the Police Hospital, Chief Superintendent Marufatu Essie Braimah, commended ABL for leading the charge on FASD education, stressing that the company’s support is critical as ‘alcohol consumption during pregnancy is a major challenge hampering efforts at meeting maternal and infant mortality goals’.
Training attendees on the effects of alcohol on the growing foetus, Chief Superintendent Braimah said alcohol intake during pregnancy could permanently damage the cells of the growing foetus and the baby’s nervous system, which could possibly lead to the development of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs).
She expressed optimism that the knowledge gained will go a long way to reducing the many medical, social and economic risks that befall alcohol-consuming pregnant women.
Mrs. Cecelia Arthur, a Programme participant who enquired about the prudency of consuming alcohol while lactating during the Programme’s highly interactive Question and Answer Session, expressed her resolve to adhere to the invaluable lessons acquired from the Programme.
ABL’s Alcohol and Pregnancy Programme has so far partnered the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, 37 Military Hospital, Adabraka Polyclinic, Kaneshie Polyclinic and Koforidua General Hospital. The company will be partnering the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, next year to reach more women with its message.