On 9 September 2019, International FASD Awareness Day, an inquiry was referred to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee into effective approaches to prevention and diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and strategies for optimising life outcomes for people with FASD.
Individuals, organisations, and institutions across Australia made submissions which explored the breadth of the impact of FASD on Australian communities. NOFASD Australia reviewed all submissions and extracted a series of quotes which define themes that arose across the submissions.
In today’s blog, we explore the theme of prevalence of FASD in Australia.
- Understanding the prevalence of a disorder or disease is vitally important as it determines how much public funding is spent preventing, diagnosing, and treating that disorder or disease;
- Australia has not conducted FASD prevalence studies in the general population, so we do not know how common FASD is in Australia;
- Australia has conducted prevalence studies in high-risk populations and found 36% of incarcerated Western Australian youth have FASD, and 19% of youth in the Fitzroy Valley have FASD. These are among the highest rates in the world;
- With 50% of Australian pregnancies being unplanned, and a pervasive drinking culture, FASD prevalence in Australia is expected to be as high as that seen in the United States and Canada, ranging from 2-5% of the general population; and
- Improve your knowledge or help someone else become FASD informed by completing the FREE FASD training course online here.
Click here to view NOFASD’s Findings: The true prevalence of FASD in Australia is unknown.
The final report from the Senate inquiry was released on 17th March 2021.
Stay tuned to the NOFASD blogs for a summary of the findings.