Fact Sheet

Government of Canada Invests To Promote Health, Well-being and Safety of Canadians

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in Canada

News Release: Harper Government Invests in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Projects

Prenatal alcohol exposure is the leading known cause of preventable developmental disability in Canada. It is estimated that 9 of every 1,000 births, or about 350,000 Canadians, are affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The Government of Canada recognizes the lifelong effects that FASD has on individuals, their families and communities. Through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s FASD Initiative, the Government is committed to addressing FASD to improve the health, well-being and safety of children, youth and adults across Canada.

The FASD Initiative collaborates with federal and provincial/territorial governments, health and allied professionals, researchers, communities and other stakeholders to coordinate activities to address FASD and to contribute to research and policy efforts.

The FASD National Strategic Projects Fund (FASD-NSPF) supports organizations to develop knowledge, tools and resources for use by health professionals and other front line workers to prevent and address FASD.

Today’s funding announcement of close to $600,000 will support 2 projects:

  1. The project Canadian Guidelines for the Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Revision and Update will update the guidelines to assist in diagnosing FASD among all age groups consistently.  Led by the Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network  the project will:
    • update the guidelines to incorporate new FASD research; and
    • add recommendations for diagnosing young children and adults.
  2. The project A Study on Child Development and Prenatal Factors with a Focus on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder will estimate the prevalence of FASD in the Canadian population to understand the impact of FASD. Led by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health  the project will:
    • gather data about the prevalence of FASD in Canada; and
    • share Canadian data with the World Health Organization for its study on FASD around the world. Other participating countries will be from Central and Eastern Europe (such as Belarus, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine) as well as from Africa and Asia. 
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