Please help us raise $13,550 to research the impacts of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome on children and families in Cape Town, South Africa!
Hello! Welcome to the Zotfunder page for Team South Africa! This fundraising campaign will support the efforts of five UCI School of Medicine students as we seek to research the impacts of prenatal alcohol exposure on children and their families in Cape Town, South Africa this summer. This project is being conducted under the supervision of Dr. Kristina Uban, PhD, Assistant Professor of Public Health at UCI as part of the Global Health Research, Education, and Translation Program.
For this project, we will be working directly with healthcare providers in Cape Town to improve their capacity to both care for and conduct research on the children and families affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Our goal is to sustainably improve the care provided to the FASD community in South Africa by helping these providers establish better clinical and research practices. Our hope is that, through this capacity-building work, we will improve the medical community’s understanding of FASD and improve outcomes for the individuals and families affected by these conditions.
Read below to learn more about project!
The University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are a range of conditions that can develop in children who are exposed to alcohol during the time they spend developing in their mother’s womb. While specific symptoms and their severity can vary widely depending on many factors, the most common feature of FASD is abnormal brain development. Children affected by these conditions can have attention problems and learning deficits, among other difficulties. The prevalence of FASD is estimated to be about 1% in the United States and western Europe. However, rates in South Africa are thought to be much higher, with around 6-7% of children affected. Despite its prevalence, FASD is not well-understood, there are no specific tools doctors can use to diagnose it, and there are no known effective treatment options to help these patients. It is our hope that, by doing capacity-building work in South Africa, we can ultimately help improve medicine’s understanding of these conditions and potentially find solutions for the families that they impact.
Capacity building describes the process of obtaining, improving, and retaining the skills and/or knowledge needed for an organization to achieve a goal. In the setting of global health research and clinical care, capacity building often takes the form of medical and research professionals traveling to a host country and directly training health workers. This process can involve transferring skills and knowledge to host country practitioners, helping develop leadership systems in their existing healthcare/research infrastructure, and speaking with community members to assess their needs. Such work should always be undertaken with the principles of service, safety, standards, and sustainability in mind, to ensure that the efforts of global health workers are both welcome and beneficial.
Our work in Cape Town will mostly involve performing a needs assessment. Our aim is to speak with healthcare workers, research staff, administration, and community members to determine what support these individuals both require and desire to improve their clinical and research capabilities. By traveling to South Africa and working with providers and researchers directly, we hope to benefit the local community--especially those affected by FASD--by creating sustainable improvements in the existing healthcare and research infrastructure at the University of Cape Town.
Please donate and help us make a lasting impact in this community!
Thank you for supporting our project and for the hope you are giving to those affected by FASD!