Harmful effects of alcohol on pregnancy
A formative study, conducted by WHO in Ukraine in 2018, found that many pregnant women do not receive reliable information about the harmful effects of alcohol during pregnancy, and believe that “small” doses of alcoholic beverages will not harm them or their child.
However, any amount of alcohol consumption throughout the pregnancy can cause serious issues and affect the child’s liver, heart and nervous system. As Andriy Skipalskyi, Director-General of the Directorate of Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, explains: “Studies show that even small doses of alcohol during pregnancy affect the cognitive and socioemotional development of a child, and may also cause other health problems: neuro-ontogenetic disorders and congenital defects associated with alcohol.”
Art to raise health literacy and awareness
To emphasize the detrimental impact of alcohol, the art performance featured gynaecologists in medical outfits designed by Ukrainian artist Eugenia Haydamaka. These outfits metaphorically depicted the different systems of the child’s body that can be negatively affected by alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
“When talking about a pregnant woman, harm from alcohol may not be obvious right away, but it may appear many years later through health problems in a child. Therefore, we urge women to completely refrain from drinking alcohol during pregnancy,” emphasized Volodymyr Kurpita, Director-General of the Centre for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.