“Exposure to alcohol in utero is recognised as the leading preventable cause of intellectual disability in the developed world”, says CM Health Developmental Paediatrician, Dr Louise Porteous. “No research has confirmed the exact prevalence of FASD in New Zealand, but international studies suggest FASD is conservatively estimated to occur in at least one out of every 100 live births and is likely to be much higher in countries like New Zealand, where binge and hazardous use of alcohol is prevalent”.
FASD is the term used to describe the impacts on the brain and body of babies exposed to alcohol during pregnancy. It is a lifelong disability. People with FASD, and their whaanau, may experience challenges in their daily living and need support to reach their full potential. Each individual with FASD is unique and has areas of both strengths and challenges.
Drinking in pregnancy occurs across all groups but the population of South Auckland are at increased risk of alcohol harm due to increased availability and marketing of alcohol in their community.
Learn more from Counties Manukau Health (New Zealand, 2019)