The Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Humans Service joins the world in the observance of “World Down Syndrome Day” today 21st March 2017 under the theme “My Voice My Community”.
The United Nation defines Down Syndrome as a genetic occurrence caused by extra material in chromosome 21 that results in intellectual disability. It is not yet known why this occurs.
The UN estimates the prevalence of Down Syndrome incidence between 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 1,100 live births worldwide. Each year approximately 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with this chromosome disorder and it is believed there are about 250,000 families in the United States of America who are affected by Down Syndrome.
Although there are less than 10 persons with Down Syndrome registered in the Turks & Caicos Islands, our aim is to enable people with Down Syndrome to speak up, be heard and influence government policy and action and to be fully included in the community.
According to the United States National Down Syndrome Society, people with Down Syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions; such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia and thyroid conditions. However, many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down Syndrome lead healthy lives. Life expectancy for people with Down Syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.
For more information please contact the Special Needs Unit at 338-2171/2/3.