Hon Dr David Clark
Minister of Health
9 September 2018
Action over Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Health Minister Dr David Clark has praised the work around New Zealand in improving the prevention, early detection and
support for those affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
“I am pleased to see strong progress towards the cross agency FASD action plan, which the Ministry of Health is leading.
It focuses on preventing FASD, and identifying and supporting people who affected by FASD, and their whanau and
caregivers,” said David Clark.
“Today is International FASD Awareness Day, which is observed every year on 9 September at 9:09am to highlight the
importance of being alcohol free for the nine months of a pregnancy. This disorder, which is an umbrella term to
describe the range of effects that can occur when a fetus is exposed to alcohol during pregnancy, is everyone’s
responsibility and not solely a women’s issue.
“A range of initiatives are underway, including the Health Promotion Agency’s Don’t know? Don’t drink campaign, and the Waitemata, Northland, Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay District Health Boards’ pregnancy and parenting
programmes, which support pregnant mums and parents of young children with drug and alcohol issues.
“The Ministry of Health is marking FASD Awareness Day by launching today an FASD information page
on its website to update families and caregivers about progress of implementing theTaking Action on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: 2016 – 2019: An action plan
“Also, the Ministry will host a cross-agency seminar on 24 September with parents, caregivers and Government agencies to
highlight challenges and best practice in working with families which include young people with FASD.
“We can all prevent FASD and improve the health and wellbeing of our children by encouraging women to have alcohol-free
pregnancies and supporting women who continue to drink while pregnant to stop drinking, or reduce their alcohol
consumption,” said David Clark.