DSAPTR's ‘Uniting Our Strengths’ event aims to raise awareness about FASD |09 September 2023
In commemoration of the International Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day, the Division for Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation (DSAPTR) is organising an educational activity and mocktail competition to raise awareness about the dangers of consuming alcohol during pregnancy.
The activity is being held at the Lansiv Cafe, Victoria, as from 10.30am, up until 12pm today.
The FASD Awareness Day is observed on the ninth day of the ninth month worldwide, symbolic of the nine months of pregnancy.
‘Uniting our Strengths: Finding Solutions Together’ is the chosen theme for this year’s campaign.
Senior medical officer of the DSAPTR, Dr Anabelle Marie, noted that the activity will serve as a poignant reminder that there exists no ‘safe’ level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
The main focus of the event is an educational awareness session whereby DSAPTR and stakeholders will provide information to members of the public regarding FASD, the causes and possible implications, as well as the various ways to prevent FASD.
“They will be provided with simple information and facts, as a vast majority of people are not aware of what FASD is. It has existed all along but it is only now that we are intensifying efforts and advocating for prevention,” Dr Marie noted.
Alcohol is now recognised as the leading preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disorders. Annually, numerous children across the globe are born with life-long disabilities, due to prenatal alcohol exposure.
In addition to the educational aspect, a number of mixologists from establishments around the island, namely Gran Kaz, Allamanda Resort and Spa and others will be partaking in the competition, to conjure up the most delicious mocktail. The mocktails will be judged based on appearance, taste, originality, and creativity, and members of the public will have an opportunity to vote for their favourite. At the end of the competition, two cash prizes will be awarded, one based on the people’s choice, while the other winner will be selected by a panel of expert mixologists.
“We decided on a mocktail competition to show that there are alternatives to alcohol. A mocktail is a non-alcoholic beverage that can be enjoyed in various settings, be it a party or picnic. In fact we have a number of alternatives on the market, including non-alcoholic beers and wines.”
“Additionally, the competition will add a fun and entertaining twist to the activity. It will be the first time that the health department organises such a competition,” Dr Marie added.
The competition is intended to keep those in attendance engaged with the cause and the message that the DSAPTR wishes to communicate.
Families are welcome to the event, and Dr Marie encourages parents to bring their children along, especially considering the fact that the trends indicate that many more youths are now consuming alcohol underage.