People with down syndrome can be educated and trained to contribute to societal development, “they can be trained to be independent,” Dr. Amma Benin, Head of the Pediatric Department at the International Maritime Hospital (IMaH) has stated.
She said although they experienced learning and developmental delay as well as some health problems, “people born with down syndrome can grow up to be independent”.
Dr. Benin stated at the weekly “Your Health! Our Concern! A Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office initiative aimed at promoting communication on health-related and setting the medium for the propagation of health information to influence personal health choices by improving health literacy.
Speaking on the topic: “Child Defect,” Dr. Benin explained that down syndrome was a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division resulted in extra genetic material from chromosome 21.
“Down’s syndrome causes a distinct facial appearance, intellectual disability, and developmental delays,” she said.
She said some features of down syndrome included a flattened face, small head, short neck, protruding tongue, upward slanting eyelids, small ears, and short hands with a single crease in the palm among others.
Dr Benin said early intervention programmes with a team of therapists and special educators who could treat each child’s specific situation in managing their down syndrome.
She added that there had been a series of articles on people born with down syndrome attaining higher education and breaking stereotypes in society.
She said those with mosaic down syndrome had a milder form of down syndrome because they did not have the tresome in all their cells which made them have mild effects of the syndrome.
Dr. Benin said with love and care, those with milder types were able to attain higher education, while others were trainable; the untrainable were those with severe abnormalities.