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Government tackles FASD births

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/08/2016

© Mark Tantrum/ Getty Images The government has a plan to reduce the number of babies born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says it's considered internationally to be a leading preventable cause of intellectual and developmental problems.

Some researchers estimate it occurs in one in 100 children.

"There's no known safe level of alcohol consumption at any stage of pregnancy," Mr Dunne said when he released the FASD action plan.

"This is the first national step towards understanding and addressing FASD and its effects in New Zealand."

The plan involves increased support for women with alcohol and drug issues, and research into the incidence of FASD in New Zealand.

Mr Dunne says this year's budget allocated $12 million over four years for intensive alcohol and drug support for pregnant women.

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