An awareness program with the aim of preventing cases of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) will be rolled out in Alice Springs and Newcastle.
The Telethon Kids Institute will partner with health organisations in the two cities and make use of $2.7 million in federal funding over three years to implement the Make FASD History program.
FASD can appear as a range of neurological and physical symptoms in people whose mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy.
The Telethon Institute’s Dr James Fitzpatrick is leading the consortium of groups in the new project.
Dr Fitzpatrick worked on an innovative FASD project in the remote Western Australia town of Fitzroy Crossing which began in 2007.
Midwife data shows a reduction in pregnant drinking from 65 per cent to 18 per cent in the community – a lower rate than in the general community in Australia.
Dr Fitzpatrick believes more communities will come forward seeking help in addressing the factors behind FASD.