Foetal alcohol funds target Pilbara kids
■ More children in the Pilbara will be assessed for foetal alcohol spectrum disorder and local doctors will receive additional diagnostic support through a number of programs being rolled out this year.
Despite a lack of data to show how common the disorder is in the Pilbara, health professionals believe it to be prominent and if left undiagnosed it can have serious implications on a child’s development.
Youth Involvement Council chairwoman Gloria Jacob said the current situation was unacceptable and supported the need for more resources.
Ms Jacob said many FASD children went undiagnosed and as a result struggled with their learning and behaviour.
With $195,000 in State Government funding announced last month to look at the connection between youth crime and FASD and a number of Pilbara-based programs being established by the Telethon Kids Institute, long-awaited additional support will soon be available in the region.
Telethon Kids Institute paediatrician James Fitzpatrick said multi-disciplinary teams would visit the Pilbara regularly to conduct additional diagnostic clinics.
Dr Fitzpatrick said the clinics would work closely with the WA Country Health Service and Aboriginal Medical Services which already holds FASD diagnosis and support services in the region.