Usually, humans have two copies of this chromosome, but those with Down syndrome have three, and so the syndrome is also called ‘Trisomy 21’.
Researchers have not yet been able to figure out why this syndrome occurs. (Image: Thinkstock via IE)
World Down Syndrome Day 2021: World Down Syndrome Day is observed on March 21 every year, with an aim to spread awareness about the Down syndrome which has always been a part of the human condition. Down syndrome is a condition in which a human has, partially or wholly, an extra copy of chromosome 21. Usually, humans have two copies of this chromosome, but those with Down syndrome have three, and so the syndrome is also called ‘Trisomy 21’. It is to signify this triplication of chromosome 21 that the 21st was chosen as the date and March, or the third month, was chosen as the month for this observance. However, researchers have not yet been able to figure out why this syndrome occurs, even as it occurs in all regions of the world.
World Down Syndrome Day: History
The day was first observed in 2006 by the Down Syndrome International (DSI) organisation, with the Down Syndrome Association Singapore launching and hosting the World Down Syndrome Day website till 2010. However, soon, there was a call for international support for the cause, leading to an extensive international campaign, after which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution to officially mark March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day starting 2012.
Down syndrome is prevalent all over the world, with an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 children being born with this syndrome worldwide every year, as per the UN. The syndrome has an estimated incidence of 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 1,100 live births globally, and it affects the learning styles, health as well as physical traits of the individual.
However, the quality of life of people suffering from Down syndrome can be made better with equipped healthcare sectors, which would mean regular check ups so as to monitor their mental and physical health. They have the capability of leading better lives provided they get physiotherapy, speech therapy, special education or counselling, as per their requirement, while also getting parental care and support and community-based support like inclusive education throughout the levels.