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Government releases new national plan for FASD

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The Government has unveiled a new national plan to ramp up the fight against fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), and has allocated more than $7 million to the initiative.

FASD is often 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 inflict lifelong physical and neurodevelopmental impairments that can result from fetal alcohol exposure.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the aim of the new national plan was to significantly help reduce the impact of FASD on individuals, families and communities.

“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,” he said.

“Alongside the plan’s release, I am pleased to announce a new investment of $7.2 million to support activities that align with these priority areas.

“This funding will enable work to start immediately and help protect future generations and give children the best start possible.”

Funding includes $1.47 million for prevention; $1.2 million for screening and diagnosis; $1.2 million to inform schools and workplaces and support the justice system; $1.2 million to tailor solutions to local communities; and $1.55 million to continue developing a one-stop digital hub for information and support.
Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt said the Government’s approach to FASD was to invest in activities which have been shown to be effective.
“Success is underpinned by a team effort, with collaboration between families, communities, service providers and governments,” Mr Wyatt said.
“FASD requires a national approach, linking in closely with local solutions. We are acknowledging the scale of the issue in Australia and intensifying efforts to address it.”