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September 9th is International Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder Awareness Day.

 It is estimated that around 4% of the Canadian population are affected by FASD.

"As the title suggests, it is a spectrum of disabilities that occur when an unborn baby is exposed to alcohol through maternal alcohol consumption," said Noreen Agrey, Executive Director, Saskatchewan Prevention Institute.

"The range of disabilities is very broad. It can be from very minor things to extremely serious disabilities," says Agrey.

The role of the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute is to raise awareness of FASD, how it occurs and what can be done to prevent it.

Agrey said that FASD was first discovered in the 1970's and more has been learnt about the condition over time.

"A couple of parents decided it would be important to raise awareness of FASD through a proclaimed day. Canada was the first country to proclaim, I believe this is right, FASD day nationally and Saskatchewan has proclaimed FASD September 9th for a long time," says Agrey.

Women from southern Saskatchewan have said they have been afraid for their unborn child's health because they did not know they were pregnant when they drank alcoholic beverages.

"What we say is that the best thing to do at that point is to refrain from alcohol," said Agrey who went on to say, "Every day without alcohol is a great day for the baby," says Agrey.

Agrey also talked about the importance of treating people with FASD, as people first and to do more to support people with the condition and it is important to not treat mothers with shame but to help in whatever way possible.

For those wanting to know more information about FASD can find it on the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute site and if want to know more information about FASD awareness day can find it here.

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