World Down Syndrome Day observed

Kathmandu, March 21

A walkathon was organised on the ocassion of the 12th World Down Syndrome Day in Kathmandu today. The programme saw the participation of 50 people with Down syndrome.

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by a trisomy of chromosome 21,that is the existence of a partial or complete third copy of chromosome 21. It is typically associated with a set of physical features and mild to moderate intellectual disability, although the degree of disability can vary widely. People with Down syndrome also often have other health complications, including weak immune function, and increased risk of heart diseases.

According to census data, 1.9 per cent of the population of the country has Down syndrome.

Radhika Thapa, 22, a person with Down syndrome, said, “I know how to cook, and how to care for myself. I can read the  alphabets. Given the chance, I know that I could earn a living.”

Shila Thapa, founder chairman of the Down Syndrome Society Nepal said that people with Down syndrome in Nepal didn’t  have access to the special health care, education, or security that they require. With proper education and care, many people with Down syndrome could fend for themselves to a certain degree, but lack of care and education has forced them to be entirely dependent on family members.

Family members also require counselling and guidance to help those with Down syndrome. But only few families have access to such counselling.