“Support Persons with Down Syndrome” 

Agnes Teiko Nyemi-Tei and her daughter


Pediatric Cardiologist, Prof. Nana-Akyaa Yao has called for support for persons with Down Syndrome, a genetic condition of having an extra chromosome with distinctive features such as a flat-looking face and other health conditions.

According to Prof. Nana-Ayaa, persons with Down syndrome possess chromosomes which carry genes that tell the body to develop in certain ways and to perform certain functions. Most cells in the human body contain 23 pairs of chromosomes—one set of chromosomes from each parent— for a total of 46 chromosomes. People with Down syndrome have either a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21, for a total of 47 chromosomes.

As a result of this genetic disorder, which affects the body’s structure from head to toe, people with this condition have a life with disabilities. However, when they are supported and cared for by individuals and society, they begin to live a normal life, she said.

She further indicated that in Ghana and West Africa there are no statistics to show the percentage of persons affected by the condition. However, there’s quite a lot of down syndrome in Ghana.

“From science we are told that the older the women the higher the likelihood of having a child with Down syndrome. But here in Ghana there are young women who are having children with Down syndrome as well as mature women” she added.

She urged women to get tested for Down syndrome stating that, with appropriate support and treatment, many people with Down syndrome lead happy, productive lives.

Executive Director, Down Syndrome Ghana, Agnes Teiko Nyem-Tei, entreated mothers with down syndrome children to embrace reality as it plays a crucial role in the child’s development.

“Forget about the stigma that may come with it because your child has Down syndrome. You are the only hope. It will be better to embrace reality and focus on your child’s development because there are many across the world who have made meaningful living with down syndrome “ she cried out.

Further, she urged benevolent organizations and individuals to support the Down Syndrome Foundation in its advocacy campaign against stigma.

Down Syndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), 21 March, is a global awareness day that has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. The date for WDSD was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.

BY Prince Fiifi Yorke