Expert counsels parents, caregivers on children living with Down syndrome

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A pediatrician, Dr Juliet Ochi, has urged parents to show adequate care and love to their children living with Down syndrome.

Ochi, who works with the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital (ESUTH), gave the advice in an interview with the newsmen in Enugu on Thursday.

According to Wikipedia, Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21.

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

Ochi said: “My advice to parents or guardians who have Down syndrome children is that they should always show love and give them adequate care. Showing love to them will enable them to live their lives and attain their goals in life.”

She also called on everyone not to look down on them, stigmatise and ostracise them, because they were also created by God Almighty.

“I strongly believe that if the right and wellbeing of people living with Down syndrome are protected and cared for, it will spur then to achieve what they want in life,” Ochi said.

She urged government at all levels to raise public awareness for the inclusion of Nigerians with Down syndrome in the society, adding that their rights should be protected like every other human being.

Ochi said that approximately one in 700 live births was affected by Down syndrome.

(NAN)