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World Down Syndrome Day
21 March

Background

Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome is a genetic ocurrence caused by extra material in chromosome 21 that results in intellectual disability. It is not yet know why this occurs.

Prevalence

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 and it is believed there are about 250,000 families in the United States of America who are affected by Down Syndrome.

The quality of life of people with Down Syndrome can be improved by meeting their health care needs, which include: 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 personal potential.

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