Health minister David Clark has praised the work around New Zealand in improving the prevention, early detection and support for those affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
“I am pleased to see strong progress towards the cross agency FASD action plan, which the Ministry of Health is leading. It focuses on preventing FASD, and identifying and supporting people who affected by FASD, and their whanau and caregivers,” said David Clark.
“Today is International FASD Awareness Day, which is observed every year on 9 September at 9:09am to highlight the importance of being alcohol free for the nine months of a pregnancy. This disorder, which is an umbrella term to describe the range of effects that can occur when a fetus is exposed to alcohol during pregnancy, is everyone’s responsibility and not solely a women’s issue.
“A range of initiatives are underway, including the Health Promotion Agency’s Don’t know? Don’t drink campaign, and the Waitemata, Northland, Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay District Health Boards’ pregnancy and parenting programmes, which support pregnant mums and parents of young children with drug and alcohol issues.
“The Ministry of Health is marking FASD Awareness Day by launching today an FASD information page on its website to update families and caregivers about progress of implementing the Taking Action on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: 2016 – 2019: An action plan.
“Also, the Ministry will host a cross-agency seminar on 24 September with parents, caregivers and Government agencies to highlight challenges and best practice in working with families which include young people with FASD.
“We can all prevent FASD and improve the health and wellbeing of our children by encouraging women to have alcohol-free pregnancies and supporting women who continue to drink while pregnant to stop drinking, or reduce their alcohol consumption,” said David Clark.