8000 WC babies exposed to tik annually

A Tygerberg Hospital professor says more pregnant women are using tik in the Western Cape.

A Tygerberg Hospital professor says more pregnant women are using tik in the Western Cape.

CAPE TOWN - A Tygerberg Hospital professor says 8,000 babies are born every year in the Western Cape exposed to tik.

Johan Smith, who works at the Neonatal Unit, has done research on mothers using the drug and the repercussions it has for their children.

Smith said tik use has drastically increased during the past decade.

"About eight percent of all pregnant ladies in the Western Cape use tik. If you look at the total birth figure for the province, we would be looking at about 8,000 babies."

He said tik exposed babies suffer cognitive problems in the long term.

"They can't focus in school and they may be overactive. They can't do well in maths and science."

Lead SA and Western Cape law enforcement agencies are launching an initiative called Drug Watch on Monday.

Three people will appear in court later for the possession of tik worth more than R1 million.