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Life for People with Down Syndrome in Zambia – Down’s Syndrome Foundation of Zambia

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Monday, March 21st, 2016
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The current situation for people with Down syndrome in Zambia is still bad, they are still being hidden in homes, not able to access quality health care and education and socialising is still a problem. This is all due to lack of sensitisation and dissemination of information.

The attitudes of families, professionals, authorities and wider public towards post natal diagnosis of Down syndrome is that families have no confidence in the health care personnel due to lack of adequate information on Down syndrome from health workers, as well as other professionals who have negative attitudes towards helping parents who need information and resources. There are also no facilities that provide for children and adults with Down syndrome. The general public also has no confidence in people with Down syndrome as they don’t believe they can achieve anything.

Accepting the diagnosis of Down syndrome in Zambia is not easy to come to terms with due to the fact that there are many myths attached to the condition. Adding to this is the lack of government’s commitment towards programmes aimed at supporting persons with Down syndrome.

Parents have negative attitudes with regard to early childhood development. This is due to lack of support and information as well as lack of support services from government.

On the aspect of education most special schools in Zambia are used as dumping grounds, many people who have Down syndrome are put there to pass time. Though some schools do provide help, there is no proper curriculum in place. Down’s Syndrome Foundation of Zambia has been invited to work with schools to improve this situation.

The attitudes of doctors and health care providers is still bad. This is because they do not have anywhere to refer them to, in order to assess the correct support and medical assistance.

It is still very difficult for a person with Down syndrome to get a job. People do not believe that they can contribute to the good of society.

We still have along way to go but we are fighting hard.

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