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NC town has highest level of foetal alcohol syndrome

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De Aar had the highest level of foetal alcohol syndrome in the country at 119 per 1 000 population. In Upington the rate was 75 per 1 000 population and in Kimberley it was 64 per 1 000.

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FOETAL alcohol syndrome in the Northern Cape remains a concern, with areas like De Aar continuing to have among the highest incidents in the country.

In reply to a question by the DA’s Karen Jooste to the Minister of Health, it was stated that studies have been done in areas of known or suspected high alcohol consumption by women.

In the Northern Cape this included Upington, Kimberley and De Aar.

De Aar had the highest level of foetal alcohol syndrome in the country at 119 per 1 000 population. In Upington the rate was 75 per 1 000 population and in Kimberley it was 64 per 1 000.

The second highest in the country was Aurora in the Western Cape with 100 per 1000 population.

Other areas in the Western Cape, where studies were done and the levels were high, included Witzenberg sub-district at 96, Wellington at 89 and Saldanha Bay at 67.

In parts of Johannesburg in Gauteng, by comparison, the rate of foetal alcohol syndrome cases is 26 per 1 000 population.

Earlier this year, the then Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, speaking at the Eastern Cape Provincial Liquor Industry Summit, pointed out that South Africa had some of the worst drinking habits in the world.

Davies added that foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) had reached endemic proportions in some parts of the country. “The Western Cape, Northern Cape and Gauteng are reported to have the highest FAS prevalence in the world.”