By Neo Kolane
The Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA) this week marked the International Day for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome by calling for a review of alcohol policies in Lesotho.
SAAPA is a network of NGOs which advocate for evidence-based alcohol policies in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
SAAPA country coordinator, Mothobi Molefi, said the organisation is planning to embark on a campaign to call for measures to limit the sale and consumption of alcohol in Lesotho.
“Lesotho has an alcohol policy but we, along with other organisations like the World Health Organisation realized that the current alcohol policy of 2013 doesn’t address public health issues.”
Fetal alcohol syndrome is a condition in a child that results from alcohol exposure during the mother’s pregnancy. It causes brain damage and growth problem. The problems caused by fetal alcohol syndrome vary from child to child, but defects caused by fetal alcohol syndrome are not reversible.
Molefi said they want to celebrate the day by raising public awareness on this challenge. “We will be encouraging women and their partners not to touch alcohol during pregnancy to avoid the syndrome.”