1 May 2019 12:00 am Australia/Hobart
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a huge public health concern with recent studies estimating a prevalence of 2-5% of the population in the USA and approximately 4% in Canada. No population-wide prevalence studies have been conducted in Australia, but recent research found the highest worldwide prevalence in a prison setting with 36% of youth in Western Australia’s Banksia Hill Detention Centre diagnosed with FASD.
The Commonwealth Government’s FASD Strategic Action Plan is an important and welcome document, alongside the commitment of $7.2 million to address this disability in Australia. The Action Plan was launched in November by the Department of Health and outlined three key aims:
- Reduce the prevalence of FASD
- Reduce the associated impact of FASD
- Improve the quality of life for people living with FASD