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    World Down Syndrome Day observed in Bhutan

    KANGLUNG, Bhutan (Kuensel/ANN) – The Draktsho Centre in the east and Ability Bhutan, observed the World Down Syndrome Day in Kanglung on March 21 with a walk from Sherubtse College gate to the centre.

    The Draktsho Centre in the east and Ability Bhutan, observed the World Down Syndrome Day in Kanglung on March 21 with a walk from Sherubtse College gate to the centre.

    The theme for the day this year is “leave no one behind”.

    Special education teacher for the centre Tshering Dolkar said the day is observed to create awareness of Down syndrome (DS) in the society and to remove negative perception towards people with Down syndrome.

    She said the day is also expected to promote inclusion in society.

    The participants’ arms were coloured in yellow and blue to signify chromosome for DS.

    An official explained that people were not aware of DS and all disabilities are categorised as one.

    Trashigang hospital’s physiotherapist Gangtey Yoezer said that DS, which is also known as trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or parts of the third copy of Chromosome 21.

    “It is typically associated with physical growth delays, mild to moderate intellectual disability and characteristic facial features,” he said.

    The physiotherapist said DS can be recognised through physical characteristic and the child will become slow learner with moon shape eyes, which is called Mongolian eye. “They need special care from parents and society.”

    He said there are people with DS, who live a normal life such as starting a family and married completing their studies. “Down syndrome is an intellectual disability and children with Down syndrome go through the same stages of development as other children do.”

    There were five students with DS in the centre.

    Tshering Dolkar said lack of accep-tance from society and underestimation leave people with DS behind.

    “If society doesn’t accept the slow learners, people with DS will be excluded from the society.”

    Assistant coordinator of Ability Bhutan Society in the east Singye Wanchuk said that with few special need teachers and physiotherapists in the country, it is a challenge to give special care. “We need facilities like other countries,” he said.

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