South African Government

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National Down Syndrome Day 2020

20 October

National Down Syndrome Day is commemorated to create awareness about down syndrome and to communicate facts about the condition.

What is Down syndrome?

Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder arising at conception. There is an extra number 21 chromosome (Trisomy 21) which causes delays in physical and intellectual development

Facts about Down syndrome

  • People with Down syndrome have mild to moderate mental damage.
  • The cause of Down syndrome is not related to age, race, religion or socio-economic situations.
  • One in 1 000 babies born in developed countries and 1 in 650 babies born in developing countries is affected by down syndrome.
  • 80 percent of children affected by Down syndrome are born from mothers under the age of 35, although women over the age of 35 are at a higher risk of having a child with Down syndrome.
  • Although Down syndrome cannot be cured, there is a variety of medical care to treat problems associated with the disease.
  • Children with Down syndrome can be included in normal schools with regular academic procedures.
  • People with Down syndrome can live up to the age of 50 to 55.


Source: Down Syndrome South Africa

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