18 Oct 2012 | Child & Youth Mortality Review Committee
MEDIA RELEASE FROM THE ALCOHOL HEALTHWATCH TRUST
The risk to unborn babies from alcohol has been making headlines for decades but Kiwis don’t seem to be heeding the warnings. At least 50 percent of women think that drinking some alcohol during pregnancy is safe and 80 percent of teen pregnancies are alcohol exposed, according to New Zealand surveys.
Determined to do something about this, the Rotary Club of Parnell teamed up with two community organisations, Well Women’s & Family Trust and Alcohol Healthwatch Trust to turn this situation around.
"Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a hidden and very misunderstood disability and it can be difficult for young women to make the link between social drinking and future harm to their child," says Christine Rogan from Alcohol Healthwatch’s Fetal Alcohol Network, who worked on the project. "Not to drink during pregnancy is an important message that needs to spread far and wide," she says.
After consulting with communities and young people, the BABIES + BOOZE Youth Social Media Awareness Campaign was born. Youth were involved in the design and production of a social media resource, filming and performing in the videos. Their video material is accompanied on You-tube by discussion of the risk of drinking alcohol during pregnancy by Auckland Neonatologist Dr Simon Rowley as wells as poignant recollections of two birth mothers, whose drinking during pregnancy had an adverse effect on their children.
"There is still a long way to go to reduce the risk of FASD, but our hope is that this campaign will start to get the message across to the future parents of this country," says Ms Rogan.
Wallet-sized cards with key prevention messages and links to the You-Tube videos can be accessed from www.fan.org.nz.
The Campaign will be launched at the Ruapotaka Marae in Glen Innes Auckland 11.00am – 1.30pm on Thursday 18th October.