National document being prepared on children with Down syndrome

May 19, 2018

TEHRAN — Iran’s Welfare Organization is drawing up a national document on welfare and life conditions of children with Down syndrome, the organization’s deputy director for rehabilitation affairs has said.

As per the national document, which is being prepared within the framework of the law on rights of persons with disabilities, children suffering from Down syndrome will enjoy better living conditions, IRNA quoted Hossein Nahvinejad as saying on Thursday. 

Majlis [the Iranian parliament] approved both general outlines and details of a bill on rights of persons with disabilities which raises hope for improvement of their living conditions in December 2017.

Mentioning the shortcomings in supporting children with Down syndrome, Nahvinejad highlighted that such children have great potentials which are overlooked. They can play sports and even join international sports events.

He further commented on music therapy for children with Down syndrome, saying that the organization will allocate budget to such rehabilitation services as well. 

“It is also of great importance for families with children who are suffering from Down syndrome to receive training to know how to treat such children,” he added. 

Down syndrome (DS or DNS), also known as trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. It is typically associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features, and mild to moderate intellectual disability. It is not yet know why this occurs.

As per the data published on the United Nations website the estimated incidence of Down syndrome is between 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 1,100 live births worldwide. Each year approximately 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with this chromosome disorder. 

In January, Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh-Hashemi announced that some 30,000 children are born with Down syndrome per 1.5 million births in the country.

The quality of life of people with Down syndrome can be enhanced by meeting their health care needs including regular check-ups with health professionals to monitor mental and physical condition and to provide timely intervention be it physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, counselling or special education. 

Individuals with Down syndrome can achieve optimal quality of life through parental care and support, medical guidance and community based support systems like inclusive education at all levels. This facilitates their participation in mainstream society and the fulfilment of their individual potential.

MQ/MG

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