Children with Down Syndrome struggle to get care in Ethiopia

11-year-old Deborah is hosting lunch for other children like her who have Down Syndrome.

Her father says the family was forced to seek costly medical help abroad.

“There is no knowledge at all in the country, there is no therapy, no assistant teachers, there is no behavioral developmental doctors in the medical centers”, said Abadula Gemeda, Deborah’s father.

But many parents of children with Down Syndrome in Ethiopia can’t afford to look overseas for support.

Dr. Selamnesh Tsige, a consultant pediatrician at Tikur Anbessa Hospital says the prevalence of Down Syndrome in the east African is not known.

“We don’t have a reliable study in our country but in our hospital for example, in my experience, I see about 250 children with down syndrome every month”, said Selamnesh.

Down Syndrome refers to children born with an extra chromosome – and people with the condition have some level of learning disability.

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