FASD prevention in Poland

“I don’t drink to my baby’s health”

According to PARPA (the State Agency for the Prevention of Alcohol-Related Problems), nearly 80% of women in Poland drink alcohol. While women continue to drink less on average than men, the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumed by women is increasing. Women who tend to drink at riskier levels tend to be 18-29 years old, unmarried, and living in cities.

In a national survey of alcohol and substance use during pregnancy in 2009:

  • About 14% of women in Poland reported drinking alcohol use during pregnancy
  • 12% of women in this survey indicated that they did not know that small amounts of alcohol on a fetus could be harmful

One of PARPA’s initiatives to address FASD has been the development of a “Pregnancy without Alcohol” campaign that began in 2007. Sponsored by the Ministry of Health, the Polish Gynecologist Association, and the WHO Bureau in Warsaw, the media portion of the campaign targeted pregnant women and the general population from 2007-2008. The campaign was supported by more than 600 community governments. Over 250,000 educational materials were distributed, including leaflets, brochures, posters and films.

Another aspect of the campaign included activities in honor of FASD Awareness Day on September 9th – view some of these activities here.

You can take a look at the campaign website here.

Campaign website
Brochure on Alcohol and Pregnancy for Physicians

A Better Start for Your Child

Since 2008, the Polish Spirits Industry has supported a campaign called “Better start for your child” (“Lepszy start dla Twojego dziecka”). The campaign includes brochures for health care providers, brochures for pregnant women (handed out by physicians and midwives), posters, ads in magazines and on radio and TV.

To get a sense of the scale of the campaign in 2011:

  • 2,200 minibillboards were distributed to pharmacies
  • 110,000 leaflets were distributed to 1,000 pharmacies, 12,000 distributed to patients in 86 health centres and 30,000 were distributed during pre-marriage courses.
  • 700,000 pregnacy tests were sold with campaign information and website address printed on them.
  • 100,000 copies of ABC Health of Mother and Child Magazine contained information about the campaign.
  • The “Better Start for your Child” educational programme was created and broadcast in cooperation with the TV Medica hospital channel.
  • 10,000 leaflets were inserted in the Journal of Nursing and Midwifery and 5,000 were inserted in the quarterly Midwife.
  • The campaign was presented at the first National Congress of Midwives in November 2011. 320 leaflets were distributed during and after the event.

The campaign website can be viewed here.


European Spirits Organisation (CEPS) and the European Forum for Responsible Drinking (EFRD). (2012). “Better start for your child” campaign.

Górski, K.  Prevention of FASD in Poland. The State Agency for Prevention of Alcohol Related Problems. Family and Youth Department.

Wojnar, M. et al. (2010). Alcohol use during pregnancy – results from the Polish National Survey 2009. Presentation at the Sixth World Conference on the Promotion of Mental Health and Prevention of Mental and Behavioral Disorders, November 17-19, 2010, Washington, DC. View the powerpoint presentation here.

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