Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder poorly tracked and understood

Professor Carol Bower, an investigator in the Australian FASD Collaboration, recommends a raft of improvements to boost understanding and prevention of the condition in a submission to a parliamentary committee. 

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has to date received about 50 submissions in its ongoing investigation into the incidence and prevention of FASD. 

The Australian FASD Collaboration, which undertook a Department of Health and Ageing sponsored project to develop a screening and diagnostic instrument, called for increased public awareness, promulgation of advice against drinking in pregnancy and more services for affected families.

“[The collaboration] would also like to see mandatory recording of alcohol use in pregnancy in perinatal data collections and mandatory reporting of FASD diagnoses,” Professor Bower, from the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, told MO