Friday, November 24, 2017

Spotlight

I was asked to publish this on behalf of Noof R, who is a Student at Dubai Medical College for Girls, she and her Team have been creating awareness relating to Down Syndrome:

"Why Us?  This is one of the first questions asked to a Doctor by the parents when they first realise that they have a Down Syndrome child. Many go into depression and distance themselves from society. Our society still needs to understand alot about this syndrome. Let`s understand the basis of the disease: Down Syndrome is a common (1 in every 500 live births in Dubai) genetic abnormality in which an individual has an extra copy of chromosome 21, in addition to the normal 2 copies of the chromosome, the extra copy can be from either of the parents.

Though research indicates that Mother's above the age of 40 have an increased risk of having a Down Syndrome child, it is not uncommon for women under the age of 40 to also have children with Down Syndrome. Health care professionals use standardized pregnancy procedures like ultrasound and amniocentesis to detect any chromosomal abnormalities. Once detected they can provide procedures to prevent severe mental retardation and also suggest counselling and support groups to help the parents/family.

It is a general assumption that Down Syndrome causes severe mental retardation but infact, the severity of the disease varies from person to person. Most Down Syndrome individuals lead normal lives, they work, hang out with friends etc.  Last month, a Down Syndrome patient even saved his best friend's life when he was having a heart attack.

A lot has been done recently to improve the attitude of Society to individuals with Down Syndrome, a walkathon was arranged in Dubai Mall recently by the National Down Syndrome Society, numerous conferences and research are still being carried out.

Before ending, I would like to request you to make a note of the date 21 March, which is "World Down Syndrome Day" and organize/participate in any fundraisers/events for the cause. Do remember that children with Down Syndrome are like normal kids and it hurts them when we exclude them from our society, so next time you see somebody with Down Syndrome do not hesitate to say Hello and believe me you will be surprised to how incredibly friendly they are."

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