‘State not able to give autism due priority’

Kathmandu, March 31

During a programme held as part of the World Autism Awareness Month by Autism Care Nepal Soc

iety here today, Minister for Health Gagan Kumar Thapa conceded that the government has not been able to pay attention to the needs of the autistic population of the country, although many other organisations have been working for their welfare.

Minister Thapa said the government had not been able to do so because of its large scope of responsibilities, and said that the health ministry was willing to work in partnership with different organisations for the welfare of the autistic population.

Dr Sunita Maleku Amatya said one in 68 children are born with autism, and over 300,000 children are estimated to be autistic in the country.

Renu Lohani, a representative of the Norwegian Federation of the Disabled, said people with autism require proper education and facilities, which is not available for most of them.

What makes it even more difficult is that people with autism often cannot communicate their problems

well, making it difficult for their family members and friends to take care of them.