59% of pregnant women in South-South zone consume alcohol — Study

Nigerian Breweries Plc., through its two brands, Maltina and Amstel Malta, has launched an advocacy campaign, ‘Mission Nine Zero’, designed to discourage pregnant women from consuming alcohol throughout the nine month period.

Speaking during the flag-off of the campaign, the Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Hans Essaadi, disclosed that the initiative was introduced in line with Heineken’s vision of addressing pressing social and environmental challenges through its Brew a Better World (BaBW) strategy.

Essaadi explained that the campaign has become necessary to raise awareness among pregnant women about the dangers of consuming alcohol, which brings harm to unborn babies.

“This campaign is not only focused on pregnant women but also a call to collective action against this growing societal concern. This year, we continue to consolidate our existing Brew a Better World (BaBW) initiatives by introducing Mission Nine-Zero, which is aimed at curbing the detrimental effects of alcohol misuse, notably among pregnant women. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy has serious health effects on children, which could affect the quality of life they will live. As we all know, children are the future, and the onus is therefore upon us to protect that future by ensuring we deliver healthy babies while safeguarding the health of their mothers,” he said.

In her remarks, the Corporate Affairs Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Sade Morgan, noted that studies have shown that there is a prevalent rate of alcohol abuse during pregnancy, with the South-West region accounting for 12.7 per cent while 59 percent of pregnant women from South-South region consume alcohol, she explained that the campaign engages 500 direct advocates and 50,000 pregnant women through its Amstel and Maltina brands.

She stated that despite obvious health issues such as low birth weight, preterm birth, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), some pregnant women consume alcohol owing to traditional beliefs and cultural sentiments.

Also, the Chief Executive Officer, TL James Impact Consulting, Lola James, stated that the firm designed Mission-Nine Zero to ensure pregnant women are increasingly aware of the grave implications of alcohol consumption during the period of pregnancy.

She stated that the campaign also empowers pregnant women, health workers and traditional birth attendants with the knowledge of the dangerous effects of alcohol consumption in pregnancy by making them ambassadors who will take the message to other pregnant women in different states of the federation.

Speaking, the Representative of Health Stream Medi-care, Dr Aderonke Alabi, disclosed that the initiative, which is meant to adopt a training-of-trainer model, has trained over 300 health workers in primary health centres and 300 pregnant women who visited the different primary health centres on the dangers of alcohol during pregnancy. Alabi revealed that alcohol use during pregnancy was capable of causing miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth, and sudden infant death syndrome.

The Portfolio Manager, Non-Alcoholic Drinks, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Elohor Olumide-Awe, stressed that both Maltina and Amstel have chosen to identify with the campaign as they remain brands of choice that can add valued nutrients to both pregnant mothers and their unborn babies.

Olumide-Awe said Maltina and Amstel Malta are enriched with calcium, magnesium, and zinc to aid healthy bones and ensure proper nerve functions.


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