ABU DHABI, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, through the Association of Mothers of People of Determination, Hemmah, organised an initiative presented by the Albayt Mitwahid Association, “Hemmah coffee” about children suffering from Down syndrome, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination, ZHO.
The event saw the participation of doctors and specialists, as well as a number of mothers of children suffering from the syndrome and interested members of the public.
The event, which was organised remotely through visual communication techniques, is part of the framework of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and the society’s commitment to adhere to the precautionary measures taken by the state to combat the spread of the new coronavirus.
“Hemmah Coffee” presented by the media interviewer, Hassan Al Marzouqi from Al-Forsan Group, discussed the concept of Down syndrome, its causes, appropriate ways to deal with children born with it, the foundations of medical and psychological support, and the rules of primary care that contribute to mitigating its effects.
Participants expressed their appreciation and gratitude to H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, GWU, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, FDF, for the attention she gives to all segments of society.
Speaking during the meeting, a Down syndrome rehabilitation specialist at the ZHO, Ahmed Abd Rabbo Al Zoghbi, explained that having a baby late can be a risk factor. He said the rate of the foetus being infected increases after a woman reaches 35 years of age.
Pointing out that the birth of a child with Down syndrome is not the end, he said there are psychological rehabilitation procedures and programmes to help parents and families to accept the child and enable him/her to live a life that is close to normal. He added that not all children with Down syndrome suffer from a severe intellectual disability, and many of them are able to interact, learn and acquire skills and knowledge, which is proven by many of the outstanding success cases recorded in the UAE.
Dr. Anoud Al-Kindy, Paediatrician at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, talked about the importance of early detection of Down Syndrome cases in helping mothers in particular and families, in general, to deal with their children in terms of their health, physical and psychological care and follow-up and take all the necessary measures to integrate them into society. Al-Kindy explained that the early periodic examination of a pregnant mother can provide clear indications about whether the foetus has the characteristics of Down syndrome, which helps qualify her to deal with the situation.
Dr. Al-Kindy said that the emergence of symptoms of Down syndrome means that there are cells and organs in the child’s body that grow and develop abnormally, causing an imbalance in many of the vital functions. Noting that 50 percent of children with Down syndrome suffer from heart and respiratory problems, Dr. Al-Kindy said neglecting or failing to follow up may exacerbate their health problems.
Dr. Al-Kindy affirmed the importance of following-up on people with Down syndrome, especially in light of the coronavirus crisis, because their immune system is weak, making them more susceptible. Dr. Al-Kindy stressed the need to immunise children and protect them from exposure to diseases and epidemics and called on parents not to take them to health centres and hospitals except in the case of emergencies.
Amira Al Qubati, Vice President of Hemmah, and Saada Al Junaibi, Secretary of the Association, reviewed their experiences in caring for children with Down syndrome.
All the participants unanimously agreed on the importance of providing the appropriate atmosphere that allows children with Down syndrome to thrive, in addition to enhancing their self-confidence and helping them earnestly pursue their goals and aspirations.
Source: Emirates News Agency