Pregnant Women Reportedly Drinking Battery Acid to Get More Welfare

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We hope this story isn’t true, but then again, when people are struggling, anything is possible.  It is being reported that expecting mothers in some parts of South Africa are drinking battery acid  in order to obtain extra income from their disabled children.   The incidents are allegedly occurring in the Eastern Cape, one of the poorest areas of South Africa.   The acid is being consumed with a form of moonshine that some have found to be addictive.

“If I don’t drink this, I’m like someone who is sick,” one woman told Sky News.  “I can’t sleep and I can’t think straight but when I have this then I am better and I can do anything.”

The drink is illegal and sold in drinking bins called “Shebeens.”  It contains yeast, water and battery acid.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)  is a regular ailment that can come to children whose mothers drink while they are pregnant.  The disease can cause speech problems, physical deformities, learning difficulties and behavioral problems.  Police are trying to shut down the houses where the drink is being sold, but it is difficult to stop.

The World Health Organization says that there has been a rise in the number of children born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in the area  since 2002, and this is the most common birth defect in South Africa.   Some mothers find that the income supplement is helpful, since a disabled child brings in more than four times more income than a  healthy baby.