Every year on March 21, World Down Syndrome Day is commemorated as a global initiative to increase awareness about the hereditary disorder.
An individual with Down Syndrome has an extra chromosome. According to the United Nations, the global incidence of Down Syndrome is estimated to be between 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 1,100 live births.
Every year, between 3,000 and 5,000 infants worldwide are born with this chromosomal abnormality. It is not yet known why this syndrome occurs, but it has always been a part of the human condition.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a baby is born with 46 chromosomes on average.
“Babies with Down syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes, chromosome 21,” states the CDC, adding that “trisomy” is the medical term for having an extra copy of a chromosome.
As a result, Trisomy 21 is another name for Down Syndrome. This extra copy alters the way the baby's body and brain develop, posing mental and physical challenges for the child.
The first World Down Syndrome Day was observed in 2006.
Then the Brazilian Federation of Associations of Down Syndrome worked with Down Syndrome International and its members to launch an extensive campaign to generate international support.
The theme of World Down Syndrome Day this year is “Inclusion Means”. It calls for making efforts to include people with down syndrome in all matters of life and not discriminate against them.
Babies with Down Syndrome have an extra copy of a chromosome, which changes how the baby's body and brain develop.
People with this syndrome usually have an IQ (a measure of intelligence) in the moderately low range and are slower to speak than other children.
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