Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDS)
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) refers to a group health complications that affect children who their mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy (Salmon, 2016). This condition was first analyzed and published in the University of Washington medical school in 1973 (O’Neil, 2011). Two pediatricians David W. Smith and Kenneth L. Jones conducted study regarding this condition and suggested that alcohol was causing defects to fetal development in mothers who consumed alcohol while they were pregnant. The alcohol enters into the baby through the umbilical cord. Some symptoms of FASDs include poor memory, poor coordination, and small size of head among other symptoms. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2017), there are three types of FASDs which include Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) which is the most common, Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND) and Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBDs).
With an objective to mitigate the effects of FASDs, several agencies both private and public have been engaged in the study and developing treatment and preventive measures to the already affected children and those who are at the risk of being affected. One of this agencies is The Prenatal Alcohol and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Stillbirth (PASS) Network which according to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, (2017) carries out investigations in communities which are considered to be at high risk of being affected by this health issue. As cited by Poole, Schmidt, Green, and Hemsing (2016) Canadian professionals have developed a plan which in their view can significantly reduce the risks associated with FASDs. These initiatives include creating awareness regarding FASDs, carrying out dialogues with pregnant women concerning alcohol consumptions during their pregnancy period, offering support to the pregnant mothers as well as providing postpartum care and support to the new mothers. These initiatives are meant to ensure the risks associated with FASDs are reduced.
FASD just like other health conditions has social and economic implications nationally as well as internationally. People who are affected by FASD require continuous medical attention which is necessary in safeguarding them from developing other disabilities. The support and care provided to these individuals come at a huge cost to their families and the society at large. This presents a negative economic impact to the society as resources are directed towards providing healthcare to the individuals affected by FASD in constructing healthcare facilities, carrying out research, providing guidance and counseling among other medical services. According to Popova, Stade, Bekmuradov, Lange, and Rehm (2011) studies conducted in Canada and USA have revealed that FSDA is a serious health issue which requires a lot of funds to be contained. This is an indication of how FSDA has a serious economic impact which is experienced across the world.
Some of the effects associated with FASD such as retarded mental growth in children affect their ability to excel in academics. Nations and other international agencies are compelled to set up specialized institutions where these individuals can be taken care of. Such kind of segregation may make the individuals feel unwanted by the society which can have negative psychological effect on them. As a result, these individuals may start engaging in social crimes posing serious security threats to the society. Having such children in the family can sometimes give rise to conflicts between couples which is caused by the burden incurred in providing for them. Without proper counseling and support such families may break up worsening the situation further since other children are affected in such instances. These instances are confirmation of the negative social implications of FASD to the society which need to be addressed in order to safeguard the people who are affected and the society as well.
1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2017). Basics about FASDs. Retrieved from, https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/facts.html
2. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, (2017). Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Retrieved from, https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/research/major-initiatives/fetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorders
3. O’Neil, E. (2011). The Discovery of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The Embryo Project Encyclopedia. Retrieved from, https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/discovery-fetal-alcohol-syndrome
4. Poole, N., Schmidt, R. A., Green, C., & Hemsing, N. (2016). Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Current Canadian Efforts and Analysis of Gaps. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, 10(1), 1–11. http://doi.org/10.4137/SART.S34545
5. Popova, S., Stade, B., Bekmuradov, D., Lange, S. & Rehm, J. (2011). What Do We Know about the Economic Impact of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder? Alcohol and Alcoholism, 46(4), 1 490-49, https://doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agr029
6. Salmon, J. (2016). Diagnosing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Historical to Present Day Challenges. Retrieved from, https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/a736/b8937940baec64962b03d39c0635aa016429.pdf