Bhutan observes World Down Syndrome Day

In solidarity to create awareness on people living with Down’s syndrome, the Ability Bhutan Society (ABS) observed the 9th World Down Syndrome Day in capital yesterday.
The theme of the day, “Health and Wellbeing-Access and Equality for All” aims advocate the rights, inclusion and well-being of people living with Down’s syndrome.
“All people with Down syndrome have the right to access healthcare when required on an equal basis with others without discrimination and with proper assessment of the specific health needs of the individual,” Program Officer of ABS Thuji said.
ABS also highlighted that Down syndrome is a genetic condition. Thuji said there is a need for accurate and evidence based information to be made available to all so that the discrimination against people living with Down’s syndrome is stopped.
“Persons with Down’s syndrome often face stigma and segregation, physical and psychological abuse, and lack of equal opportunities. A vicious circle of exclusion can begin early in life as many children with Down’s syndrome are denied access to mainstream education or any education at all,” Thuji added.
She added that persons with Down’s syndrome are deprived of the right to work and also in political and public sphere, the right to vote.
Various presentations were made during the day to sensitize the people, teachers and parents included, on Down syndrome, like the signs and symptoms, psychological and social effects, medical conditions, complications and treatment and preventions were also made.
The United Nations General Assembly declared March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day on December 19, 2011.
The Chief Election Commissioner, Dasho Kunzang Wangdi, graced the event in the presence of the parents, children with special needs and staff of ABS.

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