Pakistan urged to recognize Down Syndrome as Disability: Abid Lashari

Down Syndrome as declared as separate form of disability by UN in 2011-12. UN declared to observe 21st March as World Down Syndrome Day since 2012. Society urged to acknowledge worth of Persons with Down Syndrome.

KARACHI: Pakistan Down Syndrome Association (PDSA) Karachi conducted Press Conference to highlight the importance of the 21st March World Down Syndrome Day 2018. Mr. Abid Lashari President/CEO Pakistan Down Syndrome Association (PDSA), Ms. Saira Lashari & Mr. Raja Zaheer Ahmed said during press conference that World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is observed on 21st March in the World. The World Down Syndrome Day 2018 is observed under theme a�?WHAT I BRING TO MY COMMUNITYa�?. On this day, people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world organize and participate in activities and events to raise public awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome. Mr. Lashari told that Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder caused by an error in cell division that results in an extra 21st chromosome. The condition leads to impairments in both cognitive ability and physical growth that range from mild to moderate developmental disabilities. It is named after John Langdon Down, the British physician who described the syndrome in 1866 who first described the syndrome as disorder. Down syndrome occurs because of an abnormality characterized by an extra copy of genetic material on all or part of the 21st chromosome. Same features, some of the more common features are in children with Down Syndrome including, Flattened face, Small head, Short neck, Protruding tongue, Short height. Infants with Down syndrome may be average size, but typically they grow slowly and remain shorter than other children the same age. PDSA Karachi is only Disabled People Organization (DPO) which is engaged locally to internationally to address issues concerned to persons with Down Syndrome in Pakistan.A�Pakistan Down Syndrome Association (PDSA) is based in Akhtar Colony, Karachi. PDSA & NDF have established a�?NDF REHAB CENTER, SHAHEED BENAZIR ABADa�? under support of Community Development Programme (CDP) P&D Department Government of Sindh. The center is catering needs of 100 children with intellectual disabilities (Aged 04-17 yrs) with engaging in services of life therapies i.e Physiotherapy, Speech Therapy, Psychotherapy, Occupational Therapy & independent living. The children are being provided boarding & Day Care facility at the center. The center engages in indoor games & fun activities. It was urged to community to join hands to sustain services of the center, it was urged to understand Down Syndrome first to respond. The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome. The original idea was proposed by members of the European Down Syndrome Association and Down Syndrome International. On 19 December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day. The General Assembly decided to “designate 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day, to be observed every year beginning in 2012;” and “invites all Member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe World Down Syndrome Day in an appropriate manner, in order to raise public awareness of Down syndrome;”.

Than Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon said on 21st March 2012 “On this day, let us reaffirm that persons with Down syndrome are entitled to the full and effective enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Let us each do our part to enable children and persons with Down syndrome to participate fully in the development and life of their societies on an equal basis with others. Let us build an inclusive society for all.”Pakistan Down Syndrome Association (PDSA) is member of Down Syndrome International (Dsi) since 2011, is engaged to raise awareness about Down Syndrome children in Pakistan. The purpose of formation of PDSA was to award separate identity representation of people with Down Syndrome in Pakistan.A� In Pakistan there is wide gap exists to understand Down Syndrome, even Government of Pakistan still not recognized Down Syndrome as separate form of disability. Pakistan has no specific facilities in health & education sectors to deal children with Down Syndrome. Even Doctors have limited knowledge at rural areas to diagnose Down Syndrome. It was urged that Persons with down syndrome can easily mainstreamed, if properly trained. The Down Syndrome is more responsive than mentally retardation. Pakistan Government, Sindh Government should recognize Down Syndrome as separate form of Disability as four categories Physical Disability, Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment & Intellectual Disability are already declared. Down Syndrome is unseen in Pakistan. There is no proper data on Down Syndrome, meanwhile International Agencies claim that more than 200,000 children with Down Syndrome live in the country. It was urged to collect data on all disabilities especially on Down Syndrome disability. The mainstreamed (Normal) Government & Private School is not ready to get enroll child with Down Syndrome because of slow learning. It should be welcoming environment at all schools to enroll children with down Syndrome, no need to find special education school for children with down Syndrome, but they can easily get their education at mainstreamed schools under Inclusive Education System. These children are assets of Pakistan if not utilized properly; they will be burden on society. Children with Down Syndrome always proved themselves in Special Olympics around the world, named Pakistan with Gold, Silver medals & awards. The worth of these children must be acknowledged by Society, he added.

 

 

PRESS CONFERENCE IN SINDHI

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