Feature

New action plan for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder


Paul Hayes


22/11/2018 11:12:09 AM

The Federal Government has announced a new national action plan and $7.2 million in funding to fight FASD.

L–R: Greg Hunt and Ken Wyatt believe tackling FASD requires a national approach. (Images: AAP)
L–R: Greg Hunt and Ken Wyatt believe tackling FASD requires a national approach. (Images: AAP)

The evidence is damning.
 
Despite the fact no level of alcohol is considered safe during pregnancy, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is present in Australia in all places alcohol is consumed.
 
It is against this background that the Federal Government yesterday announced a new national action plan and $7.2 million in funding to fight FASD.
 
‘This plan will show us the way forward to tackle the tragic problem of FASD – guiding future actions for governments, service providers and communities in the priority areas of prevention, screening and diagnosis, support and management, and tailoring needs to communities,’ Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said.
 
The funding will be broken down across a number of areas:

  • $1.47 million for prevention
  • $1.2 million for screening and diagnosis
  • $1.2 million to inform schools and workplaces, and support the justice and policing sectors
  • $1.27 million to tailor solutions to local communities
  • $1.55 million to continue existing activities including continued development of a one-stop shop digital hub for information, tools, research and consumer support
‘FASD requires a national approach, linking in closely with local solutions,’ Federal Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt said. ‘We are acknowledging the scale of the issue in Australia and intensifying efforts to address it.
 
‘Success is underpinned by a team effort, with collaboration between families, communities, service providers and governments.’
 
FASD is defined as
 
The lifelong physical and/or neurodevelopmental impairments that can result from fetal alcohol exposure, FASD is a condition that is an outcome of parents either not being aware of the dangers of alcohol use when pregnant or planning a pregnancy, or not being supported to stay healthy and strong during pregnancy.
 
The disorder can impact not only the individual, but their family, teachers, the justice system and society as a whole.
 
‘This funding will enable work to start immediately and help protect future generations and give children the best start possible,’ Minister Hunt said.



FASD fetal alcohol spectrum disorder national action plan



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