[WATCH] The human face of foetal alcohol syndrome

South Africa has the highest prevalence of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in the world which is more than 14 times the global average.

South Africa has an incidence of 111.1 per 1‚000 children‚ followed by Croatia at 53.3 per 1‚000 and Ireland at 47.5 per 1‚000. The global average is 7.7 per 1.000.

READ:SA has highest foetal alcohol syndrome prevalence in the world

Watch the story of the life of Jade below, who, due to circumstances, was not able to stop her alcohol and substance abuse during pregnancy.

As a result, she and her six children were approached by the Yellow Ribbon Foundation, who try and assist with the epidemic of alcohol and drug abuse in Eldorado Park.

Watch as Jade tells her story...

To discuss the scourge of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, Eusebius Mckaiser spoke to CEO of the Soul City Institute Lebogang Ramafoko and Executive Producer Megan Lubke.

Lubke says it is one thing to work on a documentary and be on the outside, but she still has tears in her eyes.

Because the story was almost 30 minutes long and obviously I had to select pieces of Jade's story that were impactful and that carried her journey and her struggle.

Megan Lubke, Executive Producer

Her story is just a story we consistently hear but to get people calling in, to hear the stories through family members or to hear the judgment calls amongst friends.

Megan Lubke, Executive Producer

To sit in an electricity box and decide if it's going to be in the feed. To see a three-week-old baby that she had given birth to in that electricity box because the ambulance didn't arrive in time.

Megan Lubke, Executive Producer

There is still judgment, and I am completely wowed by Jade's honesty, there is a visual component of this, so it's not only sound for radio. When you watch these visuals, it is so compelling.

Megan Lubke, Executive Producer

She decided to give her name and her surname, she decided to not cover her face, she decided to tell her story and not lie. And I think that is what was the most compelling because it was her completely raw.

Megan Lubke, Executive Producer

Lubke adds that she was completely taken by Jade's story and recalls how Jade said to her she doesn't need anything, she just needs a job.

Ramafoko says whenever we speak about the effects of alcohol in our society, the broad narrative in our community is to use a very individual approach.

And that is what you are talking about when you say you looked at the individual and that is actually a very well orchestrated strategy by the alcohol industry.

Lebo Ramafoko, Social Activist, Feminist and CEO at Soul City Institute

To say our products are ok, the person who is the problem is the person that's basically using it.

Lebo Ramafoko, Social Activist, Feminist and CEO at Soul City Institute

And unfortunately, the public has bought into that narrative and that is why the alcohol industry wants to self-regulate.

Lebo Ramafoko, Social Activist, Feminist and CEO at Soul City Institute

They then want to basically support what they call education and awareness campaign. Where they are trying to say don't look at us, we have done nothing wrong, we just have this product that may or may not be abused. Look at the individual.

Lebo Ramafoko, Social Activist, Feminist and CEO at Soul City Institute

Listen below to the full conversation about Foetal alcohol syndrome...

Also listen to the full documentary by Megan Lubke:


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