by Lindiwe Mlandu
October is also known as Ocsober – meaning people give up alcohol for a month. #Ocsober has been trending on twitter this morning with people pledging their support.
As much as it’s an Australian initiative; it is very relevant to us because South Africa is one of the greatest drinkers in the world. We are ranked sixth globally, according to the 2018 global status report on alcohol and health published by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Ocsober is meant to highlight the dangers of binge drinking and alcohol abuse, particularly among young people.
As a country, we also have the highest prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) in the world. The condition develops when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol.
The alcohol poisons the unborn baby. Babies exposed to alcohol during pregnancy are therefore at risk of permanent brain damage.
There is no cure for FAS. The only way is to prevent it by not drinking during pregnancy.
Over the years, many South Africans have been taking part in Ocsober. Instead of spending money on alcohol, participants are encouraged to donate to a charity of their choice.
Will you be taking part in Ocsober?