News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Experts gather to discuss action on Fetal Alcohol Disorder

Experts gather to discuss action on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in New Zealand

A national symposium ‘FASD in New Zealand: A Time to Act’ will be held on Friday 5 September at the University of Auckland’s Tamaki campus. The Symposium is a collaboration between Alcohol Healthwatch and the University’s Centre for Addiction Research to bring experts from a range of disciplines together to increase awareness of the implications of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The aim is to seek broad cross-sectoral consensus on a plan of action for research, policy and prevention and the delivery of care to those affected by FASD in New Zealand.

The Symposium’s keynote speaker is FASD expert Dr Jocelyn Cook who heads up Canada’s largest FASD research network CanFASD. Dr Cook will be joined by other distinguished speakers including New Zealand’s Commissioner for Children Dr Russell Wills and Auckland District and Youth Court Judge, Tony FitzGerald.

The Symposium will be followed by a Policy and Research Roundtable on 9 September. The two events bring researchers, teachers, community care providers, family advocates and policy makers together to advance knowledge and action on FASD.

Christine Rogan, who coordinates the FASD network for Alcohol Healthwatch says FASD is an umbrella term for a range of physical, cognitive and behavioural impairments caused by alcohol exposure during fetal development.

“Impairments can include growth retardation, facial and other organs malformations but primarily FASD is a serious neurodevelopmental disorder, which substantially impairs day-to-day functioning and social interactions. These pose major challenges for individuals with FASD, their families, and treatment providers.”

Ms Rogan says it’s important that everyone involved knows what can be done to improve outcomes for those affected as well as preventing FASD from happening in the first place.

Dr David Newcombe, senior lecturer in Alcohol and Drug Studies and Associate Director of the Centre for Addiction Research at the University of Auckland, says FASD is the leading preventable cause of intellectual disabilities in the developed world, yet remarkably, no reliable data has been gathered on its prevalence in New Zealand.

“Based on overseas studies and our drinking patterns, we could have as many as 3000 babies a year born with FASD. Better information is vital to develop effective policy and health sector responses to reduce the prevalence and societal impact of FASD.”

International studies that have identified the prevalence and impact of FASD estimate the lifetime cost of an individual with FASD can run into the millions. He says New Zealand has no systematic programmes that target this vulnerable population and there is little research being done.

The events help to mark World FASD Awareness Day, held every year on 9 September to raise awareness of the risk of drinking during pregnancy and to bring attention to the needs of those born affected by FASD. Symbolic for the nine months of pregnancy, the ninth day of the ninth month is usually marked by a ‘Moment of Reflection’ at 9.09am across the different time zones. New Zealand has been the first to mark FASD Awareness Day since its inception 15 years ago.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

TV3 Video: NZ Praised For Sportsmanship After Cricket World Cup Final Loss

New Zealand may have been outplayed in the Cricket World Cup final by Australia, but received praise worldwide for their graciousness in defeat. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Werewolf: Finding Love In Hell

Will it really be 25 years in May since David Lynch’s Wild at Heart won big at Cannes, nabbing no less than the Palme d’Or? Amazing but true, and yet the film that was briefly Lynch’s most feted, now seems to be his most forgotten. More>>

ALSO:

Cricket: Dramatic Win Puts Black Caps In Finals

In Parliament: When Parliament resumed at 2pm the House passed a motion on a voice vote admiring the performance of the New Zealand cricket team in last night’s World Cup semi-final and wishing them well for the final on the weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Moon Shot/Kills Switch: The X Factor Judges Removed

MediaWorks has today decided that Natalia Kills and Willie Moon are no longer suitable to judge The X Factor and have removed them from the show. MediaWorks CEO, Mark Weldon, said that last night on The X Factor both Kills and Moon made comments that were completely unacceptable. More>>

ALSO:

Tessa Nichol: Up Up & Away In The Wairarapa

It’s an overcast morning in the Wairarapa but the mood on the ground in Carterton’s Carrington Park is anything but grey. More than 20 hot air balloons are getting ready to take off into the cloudy sky to mark the start of this year’s Wairarapa Balloon Festival. More>>

Golden Shears: Scotsman Wins Golden Shears Open Final

A Scottish shearer who settled in New Zealand to farm in Taranaki has become the first shearer from overseas to win the Golden Shears Open Shearing Championship. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news