12th World Down Syndrome Congress 2015 – Chennai India
Pictured is the South African delegation (l-r): Ancella Ramjas, National Director Down Syndrome South Africa, Thenjiwe Ndebele, Self-Advocate South Africa, Vanessa Dos Santos, Outgoing President Down Syndrome International and Reggie Steenberg, parent
Down syndrome is the most common and naturally occurring chromosomal genetic condition affecting 1 to every 1000 live births in developed countries and 1 to every 500 in developing countries. Down syndrome usually causes varying degrees of intellectual disability, physical disabilities and associated medical issues. Persons with Down syndrome can lead very normal and active lives provided they are given the necessary support systems and benefits from growing up in loving homes and communities.
The message of the congress “Let’s Make an Inclusive Tomorrow” was based on the theme, the “5 Panch Tatvas” meaning the 5 truths or beliefs, Social Awareness and Self-determination, Health, Education and Employment, Support Systems and Rights and the Law.
The congress also hosted the “Panchayat”, a gathering of people for a common purpose which saw over 100 self-advocates with Down syndrome participate and deliver their resolutions on the 5 Panch Tatvas which will be presented to the United Nations on World Down Syndrome Day which is hosted on the 21st March every year.
The next World Down Syndrome Congress will be hosted in Glasgow Scotland in 2018.
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