World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is celebrated annually on March 21. The day aims to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.
Down syndrome has been observed in all races for thousands of years. Sadly, many infants with disabilities were either killed or abandoned in ancient times.
According to the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), about 1 in 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome. It’s the most common genetic disorder in the United States.
History of World Down Syndrome Day:
It is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.
Significance of World Down Syndrome Day:
This resolution was a major step forward towards DSi’s goal for WDSD to be observed and celebrated by persons with Down syndrome, their families and friends, those who live and work with them and all persons who wish to promote and ensure quality of life and human rights for all persons with Down syndrome.
Theme of World Down Syndrome Day:
The World Down Syndrome Day 2021 Theme is ‘We Decide.’ The theme signifies that all people with Down syndrome should have full participation in decision making about matters relating to, or affecting, their lives.
What is Down Syndrome?
According to Healthline, Down syndrome (sometimes called Down’s syndrome) is a condition in which a child is born with an extra copy of their 21st chromosome hence its other name, trisomy 21. This causes physical and mental developmental delays and disabilities.
Causes of Down Syndrome:
In all cases of reproduction, both parents pass their genes on to their children. These genes are carried in chromosomes. When the baby’s cells develop, each cell is supposed to receive 23 pairs of chromosomes, for 46 chromosomes total. Half of the chromosomes are from the mother, and half are from the father.
In children with Down syndrome, one of the chromosomes doesn’t separate properly. The baby ends up with three copies, or an extra partial copy, of chromosome 21, instead of two. This extra chromosome causes problems as the brain and physical features develop.