FASD Under Diagnosed in Thunder Bay

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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome impacts the unborn child.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome impacts the unborn child.

FASD in Canada 9/1000 Births

THUNDER BAY – NorWest Community Health Centres and community partners will be at all four LCBO locations in Thunder Bay on Monday, September 9, 2013, International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day, to raise public awareness about the fact that there is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy. 

“FASD is under diagnosed, so there is not a clear picture of how prevalent it is,” according to Wendy Talbot, CEO of the NorWest Community Health Centres. “The incidence of FASD in Canada is estimated to occur in nine out of every 1,000 births, so clearly there is a need to raise awareness of alcohol use during pregnancy. We thank the LCBO for making this event possible. We are also grateful for the support of our partners and Sasi Spring Water.”

“LCBO is pleased to host NorWest Community Health Centres at our Thunder Bay stores on September 9 to raise awareness and help prevent FASD in our community,” says Rick Redwood, LCBO Northern Region Director. “Through our partnership work with Ontario’s Best Start Resource Centre, LCBO has a long history of supporting informed, healthy choices about alcohol and pregnancy and making resources available to the public, including in our stores.”

Staff and volunteers from the Children’s Aid Society of the District of Thunder Bay, the Children’s Centre Thunder Bay, and Dilico Anishinabek Family Care will be joining the NorWest Community Health Centres and handing out water bottles with an awareness message. Best Start Resource Centre educational materials, as well as information on NorWest Community Health Centres’ FASD Program and Diagnostic Clinic, will also be available.

People with FASD often have difficulties with learning, memory, attention and problem solving, as well as problems with mental health and social interaction. These individuals and their families face ongoing hardships in every aspect of life, including mental illness, criminal behaviour, early school dropout, poverty, chronic unemployment, sexual assault, homelessness, violence, alcoholism and substance use problems. For these reasons, it is everybody’s responsibility to help prevent FASD.

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