A medical researcher, Dr Olufunmilola Lola-Dare, has advised parents, caregivers and communities to always show love and give adequate care to children living with Down syndrome.
Lola-Dare, also the President, Centre for Health Services Training, Research and Development (CHESTRAD), gave the advice on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.
According to her, let us condemn a situation whereby Down syndrome children are ostracised by their parents, families and communities.
She spoke on the World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) observed on every March 21.
Wikipaedia, an online publication says, “On this day, people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world organise and participate in activities and events.
“This is to raise public awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and wellbeing of people with Down syndrome.
“It is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition, being universally present across racial, gender or socio-economic lines, and affecting approximately one in 800 live births.
“Down syndrome usually causes varying degrees of intellectual and physical disability and associated medical issues.’’
Lola-Dare also said that showing love and affection to children with Down syndrome would enable them to live their lives and attain their goals.
“Children with Down syndrome are entitled to full and effective enjoyment of all fundamental human rights and freedom.
“They should be allowed to participate fully in the development and life of their societies on equal basis with others.
“Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been part of a human condition with no known cure yet,’’ she said.
Lola-Dare listed the characteristics of Down syndrome children to include “a small nose and mouth, eyes that slant upwards and outwards, broad hands with short fingers, and below-average weight and length at birth’’.
She said that all children with Down syndrome usually have a level of learning disability and delayed development.
Quoting a World Health Organisation (WHO) research finding, Lola-Dare said one in 10 Down syndrome children would experience additional difficulties such as autism and autism spectrum disorder.