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PIA Press Release

Anti-FAS advocacy campaign gains grounds in Albay

by AB Calleja

LEGAZPI CITY (2 December) -- The Philippine Women's Christian Temperance Union, Inc. (PWCTU), spearheaded the seminar-workshop to expand advocacy group on the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) last November 17 at the Albay Capitol building, here.

The seminar was participated in by representatives from the LGUs, NGOs, government agencies, colleges and universities in the province in coordination with the Local Councils of Women of Albay province, the Albay provincial government, and the Bicol University College of Arts and Letters.

PWCTUI vice-president Roselia Jean Puno said the conduct of the workshop is "in line with the commitment and advocacy against drugs, alcohol and tobacco in furtherance of the psycho-social mental development of every individual and the community at large."

Project chair Dr. Ramona Bustamante-Raņeses said the activity ended up with the participants committing themselves to be active advocates against the syndrome. "We have basically prepared them to be FAS agents, helped them mobilize people by organizing groups in their specific locations to help minimize the disease."

With the theme "Mobilizing Young Women, Professionals and Parents to be advocates aginst FAS", the workshop sought to raise the level of awareness of the participants on the nature and extent of the effects of said disease on pregnant women.

Considered as the most devastating birth defect, FAS can occur when a pregnant woman does not stay alcohol free.

Dr. Elsie de Veyra, PWCTUI corporate secretary said that the effects of these syndrome lasts a lifetime since it consists growth deficiency, characteristic facial abnormalities and dysfunction of the central nervous system.

Medical conditions, which are common among FAS children, include hip displacement, club foot, heart defects, cleft-lip and palate, abnormal finger joints and curved fingers. They also have difficulty with general intellectual functioning and academic skills.

FAS was the first introduced in 1973 by the Kenneth Jones and David Smith at the School of Medicine, University of Washington in the USA. (PIA) [top]

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