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Advice on alcohol for pregnant women

13th June 2011

A drinks manufacturer has said it will pay for 10,000 midwives to be trained about how to give advice to pregnant women on alcohol and pregnancy.

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The company, Diageo, will provide the funding in a move that the Department of Health hope will reach over one million pregnant women over three years.

The decision comes as part of government plans to involve the private sector in public healthcare.

The British Medical Association has said it is concerned about a drinks company providing the funds for the project.

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: "Midwives are one of the most trusted sources of information and advice for pregnant women."

She added that the promise by the drinks company was a "great example" of how the private sector could join up with the health service in order to offer women advice.

She added that it could help women become more healthy and provided their children with a good foundation in early life.The National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome UK (Nofas-UK) will carry out the project.

Susan Fleisher, from the charity, said the project would be massively beneficial to pregnant women and their babies.

"The thing that's so fantastic is that they're helping us with prevention, we can actually prevent children being born with foetal alcohol brain damage," she said.

"Thanks to Diageo we expect we will be educating in the next three years 10,000 midwives. Ultimately, if it all goes well, they will reach at least a million women."

 

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