Balbir Singh, president of Down Syndrome International (DSI), is an Indian origin Singapore doctor who got involved in the Down Syndrome fraternity after the birth of his daughter Jaspreet 25 years ago who had Down's syndrome. Down Syndrome Association (DSI) Singapore, founded by Singh some 25 years ago, on talking in the Southern African Conference on Down Syndrome and Intellectual Disability he said he wanted to officially earmark march 21 as World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD). His organization will host a series of events and activities to launch the inaugural WDSD. He has choosen the date March 21st to signify the uniqueness of the syndrome as the Trisomy 21 chromosome is used synonymously with Down Syndrome.
Down Syndrome is the most common cause of mental retardation and malformation that affects some newborns. The objective of WDSD is to commemorate, create and accomplish a level of awareness and understanding of Down syndrome through highlighting the potential and ability of people with the syndrome to be an integral part of an inclusive community, he said. Dr. Singh has invited participants of the conference to send delegates to Singapore to celebrate and participate the inaugural celebration of WDSD. Singh conceded that even if the UN acceded to the request for an international day like the one proposed it may take some years because of the processes that have to be followed.
Dr. Singh said that he his happy with the high number of Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations present in India but he his not happy as these organization are not more involved in bringing rehabilitation to people with Down syndrome.
Dr. Singh Said, 'DSI members and related organizations worldwide will be encouraged to observe the WDSD together with the community in an appropriate manner and in Indian communities tends to keep children and adults with Down Syndrome away from the public eye. There is unfortunately still a stigma attached to this although people with Down syndrome can be useful members of society with support and acceptance.'
Medindia on Genetic Counselling:
An educational process that seeks to assist affected individuals and other individuals at risk of getting an inherited condition to understand the nature of the genetic disorder, its transmission and the options open to them in management and family planning - ( Kelly, 1998).