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09/09/2010

Give your child a fair start and do not drink during pregnancy- Marking the FASD Awareness Day, 9th September

The umbrella term, Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), describes the consequences that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy.

A substantial number of European women are not aware of the harm alcohol may have on the unborn child.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy may cause physical, behavioural and learning disabilities (i.e. reductions in general intellectual functioning, deficits in verbal language, spatial memory, comprehension and reasoning skills etc.) These developmental disorders are 100% preventable.

We should all be able to make informed decisions and know about the negative consequences of drinking while pregnant. To this end labels on alcoholic beverages should carry a health warnings informing the consumer about the negative impact and encouraging not drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

Such move would be supported by the overwhelming majority (79% according to latest Eurobarometer survey ) of the public, with support in some countries ranging to 93% (Poland, Cyprus and Romania)

At the moment only France requires alcoholic beverage containers to carry a warning about the risks of drinking during pregnancy.

Mariann Skar, Secretary General of Eurocare, said: “ We call upon governments in Member States for more effective prevention, such as issuing clear guidelines of abstinence for pregnancy, and introducing health warning labels on alcoholic beverages. We also call for comprehensive training of professionals who have a key role to play in the prevention and reduction of alcohol related harm.”

Throughout Europe organisations working on prevention of FASD are organising events marking FASD Day raising awareness about dangers of drinking while pregnant.

Italy
Region Veneto, Azienda ULSS 9 TReviso and Eurocare Italia: Conference on FASD, 9th September, Hotel Relais Monaco, Ponzano Veneto
In Italy about 60% of pregnant women consume alcohol, with risks to the health of the unborn. In Italy about 60% of pregnant women consume alcohol, with Risks to the health of the unborn. On this basis, region of Veneto is holding, a cultural and media prevention campaign against alcohol during pregnancy, entitled "Mommy drinks, baby drinks.
Established with the support of the Medical Center's on Health, Culture and Communication Agency "Fabrica" and presented by the Director General,Claudio Dario, "Mommy drinks, baby drinks" is a part of a larger project, "Marcia Kambi - Pending changes" made by Alcohology Service of the Department for addictions in collaboration with the University of Trieste.The campaign plans to disseminate a message of communication via the channels of the company health and social and public transport (buses), with the collaboration of Fipe-Confcommercio and Ebicom for the publicity of the message with the network of restaurants and merchants.

Finland
Access and Participation for Diverse People (FAIDD): Educational event concerning FASD for professionals, please note this year event will take place on 23rd November, Rovaniemi

Netherlands
Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy (STAP) / FAS Foundation of the Netherlands: Launch report on alcohol advice by midwaves.
This research shows that midwives have the intention to advice women not to drink alcohol, but they underestimate the percentage of women who continue drinking alcohol during their pregnancy, they only give advice about alcohol to women who confirmed that they are drinking alcohol and they have insufficient knowledge about the damaging effects of alcohol during pregnancy.

Poland
State Agency for Prevention of Alcohol-Related Problems (PARPA): Campaign ‘Pregnancy With No Alcohol'
The campaign addresses pregnant women or to those who plan to be pregnant as well as to the whole society.
There are several methods of communication used in the campaign: TV and radio spots, billboards and other education materials. The campaign is supported by more than 600 community governments that have organized local debates and trainings in their communities. Over 250 thousand educational materials were distributed, including leaflets, brochures, posters and films. The materials were distributed to gynecological outpatient clinics, healthcare centers, social assistance centers and other public institutions.

Spain
FARE and Socidrogalcohol: Conference ‘Alcohol during pregnancy: the serious problems for the baby if the mother takes alcohol', 9th September, Palacio de La Alhondiga, Zamora

Notes to editors:
For more information please contact:
Aleksandra Maria Kaczmarek (aleksandra.kaczmarek@eurocare.org)

EUROCARE (The European Alcohol Policy Alliance) is an alliance of organizations working on the prevention and reduction of alcohol related harm in Europe. Member organisations are involved in research and advocacy, as well as in the provision of counselling services and residential support for problem drinkers, the provision of workplace and school based programmes and the provision of information to the public.

Eurocare advocates the prevention of alcohol related harm in Europe through effective evidence based alcohol policy.

www.eurocare.org
Tel:+32 2 736 05 72