Posted on April 06, 2016

Children with Down Syndrome can lead a normal life if given the right opportunities, the necessary support and appropriate healthcare, said rehabilitation experts at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

Dr. Mahmoud Obeidah, Director of the Child Development Center and Rehabilitation at HMC said his department recently organized an event featuring activities such as educational games, a doll making workshop, facial coloring, photography, henna drawing and balloons arts, to mark the World Down Syndrome Day to demonstrate HMC’s keenness to enhance communication between healthcare providers and patients and their families as well as to bring joy and happiness to the children.

Organized for the sixth consecutive year by the Department of Child Development Center and Rehabilitation in Rumailah Hospital and sponsored by Ooredoo in collaboration with the Physiotherapy, Special Education Center, Department of Occupational Therapy and the Roah Centre. The slogan for the event was: "My Friends and My Community - Benefits of a Comprehensive Environment for Today's Children and Tomorrow's Adults".

HMC marks World Down Syndrome 2 [qatarisbooming.com].jpg

“We have organized this event to bring joy and happiness to children with Down Syndrome so they have a sense of belonging among their peers and know that they have equal opportunities in the community,” said Dr. ObeidahDr. Obeidah said that the Early Intervention Program at Rumailah Hospital currently supports about 50 children with Down Syndrome and is being followed in accordance with international standards of care. He added that the family centered program provides a comprehensive multidisciplinary therapeutic service to children from 0-3 years that includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy. The program is also being supported by other services including special education, nursing and clinical psychology services according to the children's needs, he added.

Fatma Mustafa, Assistant Director of the Department of Children’s Rehabilitation at HMC, said that marking occasions like World Down Syndrome Day provides an opportunity to break down barriers and eliminate the fears and concerns of parents of children with the condition. It also enriches the children’s knowledge of their condition by meeting and interacting with each other. Dr. Azhar Khattab, Pediatric Consultant at Rumailah Hospital, explained that Down Syndrome is a set of physical and mental attributes resulting from a problem with the child’s chromosomes which arise at an early stage of development.

“The children affected with Down Syndrome are characterized with distinctive facial features and usually develop congenital heart diseases, respiratory disorders or other organ or body part disorders. These children may also have growth retardation and linguistic disabilities,” he said. He added that besides providing rehabilitation services for the children, the Child Development Center is supervised by selected physicians who regularly check the children’s heart, hearing, eyesight and thyroid function. He also highlighted that the center is also working with parents to identify the children’s areas of strength and their talents in a bid to help them socialize and integrate well into society.

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