IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 945: Policymakers` Perspectives Towards Developing a Guideline to Inform Policy on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: A Qualitative Study (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) has a high prevalence in South Africa, especially among the poor socioeconomic communities. However, there is no specific policy to address FASD. Using a qualitative study design, we explored the perspectives of policymakers on guidelines/policies for FASD, current practices and interventions, and what practices and interventions could be included in a policy for FASD. The data analysis was done using the Framework Method. Applying a working analytical framework to the data, we found that there is no specific policy for FASD in South Africa, however, clauses of FASD policy exist in other policy documents. Preventive services for women and screening, identification, assessment, and support for children are some of the current practices. Nevertheless, a multi-sectoral collaboration and streamlined program for the prevention and management of FASD are aspects that should be included in the policy. While there are generic clauses in existing relevant policy documents, which could be attributed to the prevention and management of FASD, these clauses have not been effective in preventing and managing the disorder. Therefore, a specific policy to foster a holistic and coordinated approach to prevent and manage FASD needs to be developed.