• Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Foundation seeks to enhance, maximize lives of children with Down Syndrome

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In a bid to provide services that will enhance and maximize the lives of children living with down’s syndrome, Moyinoluwa Rainbow Foundation, MRF, has been formally launched in Nigeria.

The foundation which is centered on helping children and families living with down syndrome also promises to encourage effective health care, good parenting skills, everyday family activities and early interventions especially in their first year of life.

Speaking during the grand opening of the foundation, Tola Makinde, Founder , Moyinoluwa Rainbow Foundation, said the foundation will do everything in its capacity and resources, through various vehicles to maximize and impact the lives of children and families living with down’s syndrome.

She noted that the foundation will also support development, good primary education, conduct therapies, improve fine and grass motor skills, toilet trainings, etiquette, recreational and vocational trainings as well as community activities.

According to her, “The conception of the foundation was based on a heartfelt conviction after the birth of my baby girl, who was diagnosed of down syndrome to live and love life no matter the challenges. I was convinced she would also impact her generation and like every other girl, blossom into a woman, get married and have her own children.”

Makinde therefore called on well meaning individuals and organizations to join in this course by providing the foundation with funds to help in the purchase of equipments, outdoor play, small buses, visual aids and learning aids amongst other equipments for the children.

Olumide Awe, who has a sister living with down syndrome, expressed his gratitude to the foundation for taking the bold step in making children with down syndrome feel love and cared for.

He however encouraged parents and families not to hide their children living with down syndrome, rather bring them out, so that they can be cared for and given proper health care.

Joy Ahmedu, Speech Language Pathologist explained that parents can better the lives of their children with down syndrome by enrolling them in schools and getting a therapist for them to help manage the oral therapy, facial therapy, physical therapy, play therapy and sensory activities of the children.

Down syndrome (DS or DNS) or Down’s syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21.  It is typically associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features, and mild to moderate intellectual disability.  The average IQ of a young adult with Down syndrome is 50, equivalent to the mental age of an 8- or 9-year-old child, but this varies widely.

Down syndrome can be identified during pregnancy by prenatal screening followed by diagnostic testing, or after birth by direct observation and genetic testing. Since the introduction of screening, pregnancies with the diagnosis are often terminated.  Regular screening for health problems common in Down syndrome is recommended throughout the person’s life.

Education and proper care have been shown to improve quality of life. Some children with Down syndrome are educated in typical school classes, while others require more specialized education. Some individuals with Down syndrome graduate from high school and a few attend post-secondary education.  In adulthood, about 20% in the United States do paid work in some capacity with many requiring a sheltered work environment. Support in financial and legal matters is often needed.  Life expectancy is around 50 to 60 years in the developed world with proper health care.