ICRH Monograph: Michael Urban: Fetal alcohol syndrome in South Africa: prevalence, risk factors and prevention

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On Wednesday September 20th Michael Urban defended his PhD thesis: Fetal alcohol syndrome in South Africa: prevalence, risk factors and prevention

Supervisors: prof. Marleen Temmerman, and Prof. Matthew Chersich, department uro-gynaecology

Full text can be downloaded below.

PREFACE
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and the teratogenic effects of prenatal alcohol exposure more broadly constitute a known but underestimated public health problem in South Africa. FAS impacts on children’s development, on the people who care for them, and their communities more broadly. It is aggravated by the broader impact of alcohol on families, but should also be considered as a problem in its own right.
This thesis advocates for society, and the health system specifically, to take on a more active stance in the fight against FAS. The thesis describes the prevalence of FAS in several different environments across sites in two South Africa provinces, and interprets the implications regarding prevalence in other South African environments and risk groups. The focus is broadened by a description of the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure in cases without syndromic FAS features. The prospects for prevention are then discussed. For several sites, drinking patterns of mothers are
described, as well as how these change during and after pregnancy, and other risk factors are identified. Finally a health promotion-based intervention study is presented, together with lessons regarding the role of awareness-raising and educational activities in reducing the burden of FAS on society.

 

Authors & affiliation: 
Michael F. Urban Supervisors: prof. Marleen Temmerman, and Prof. Matthew Chersich, department uro-gynaecology
Published In: 
ICRH Monographs
Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 27, 2017