Accra Brewery Limited (ABL), in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Internationale (GIZ), organised a four-day sensitization programme for pregnant women at the 37 military hospital, as part of efforts towards promoting responsible alcohol consumption in Ghana.
Dubbed ‘Alcohol and Pregnancy,’ the programme which was instituted in September 2014 has seen the training of approximately 1,500 women on the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
This has brought to ten (10), the number of such programmes organised at four different health facilities, namely, Ridge OPD (Adabraka Polyclinic), Kaneshie Polyclinic, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and 37Military Hospital.
Speaking at the programme, a Principal Nursing Officer in charge of the Female Outpatient Department, Mrs Edna Afia Kisseh , extended her appreciation to ABL and GIZ for being at the forefront of such an empowerment programme, stressing that alcohol consumption during pregnancy can be a challenge hampering proper foetal development.
She said “alcohol intake during pregnancy may permanently damage the cells of the growing feotus and the baby’s nervous system which could possibly lead to the development of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs), with challenges ranging from learning difficulties, social problems to birth defects”.
She expressed optimism that the knowledge gained will go a long way to reducing the medical, social and economic risks that alcohol-consuming pregnant women were exposed to.
Commenting on the rationale for the Programme, Mrs. Joyce Ahiadorme, Corporate Communications Manager at ABL, indicated that; “the sensitisation programme forms part of efforts towards creating a sociable world where our beers are developed, marketed, sold, and consumed responsibly with high regard for individual and community wellbeing.’’
She explained that expectant mothers were taken through topics such as the effects of alcohol on the mother and the unborn child as well as its effects on the development of the foetus.
She also indicated that the programme was in fulfilment of a pact signed in 2012 by ABL’s parent company, SABMiller Plc as a member of the global producers of Beer, Wine and Spirits with the view to reducing under-age drinking; strengthening and expanding marketing codes of practice; providing consumer information and responsible product innovation while enlisting the support of retailers to reduce harmful drinking.
She reaffirmed ABL’s commitment to abiding by the highest professional standards, an obligation that is imposed on it as a subsidiary of SABMiller noting that the competitive landscape of the brewery industry will not impede ABL’s commitment in that regard.
Mrs Mokor Quartey, a beneficiary of the programme, expressed her resolve to adhere to the invaluable lessons learnt from the programme and educate other pregnant women in her community.