New Delhi, Feb 11: UPA Chairperson and Congress President Sonia Gandhi Sunday said there are 8 million persons with autism and other development disorders in India. Inaugurating the South Asian Autism Network Conference, Gandhi who is also Chairperson of the National Advisory Council said mothers of children with autism and other development disorders suffer a lot by thinking about the future of their children.
“Life-long afflicted children need life-long support. For this reason, we should come forward and help them. The International Conference on Autism Spectrum Disorder and Developmental Disabilities held in July 2011 at Dhaka is a momentous event in this regard. This conference has helped in focusing the attention of the region and world children with autism and other development disorders. Credit goes to Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina for having organized the event. Credit also goes to Dr. Saima Hossain at whose instance focused deliberations on this very important area were initiated,” Gandhi said. “This calls for greater and more systematic approach on the issue.” In his welcome address, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “In Dhaka Declaration we endorsed 9 priority actions to realize our vision to meet healthcare needs of children with developmental disorders. Today we are meeting again to take forward this important public health initiative to safeguard against discrimination and social exclusion.” Azad thanked the Government of Bangladesh for being the true spirit behind this regional co-operation. He also thanked ‘Autism Speaks’ and ‘World Health Organization’, who have been the technical partners to this regional dialogue. Azad said he hoped that the outcome of the deliberations leading to the Delhi Declaration would be another historical guidepost in the long journey of meeting the unmet needs of children, families and communities suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorders. Chairperson National Advisory Committee on Neuro Developmental Disorder and Autism Prof Saima Wazed Hossain, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath and Minister of State of Social Justice and Empowerment Selja also addressed the inaugural session.
Include autism in medical curriculum: Health minister
Monday Feb 11, 2013
New Delhi, Feb 11 — The central government will ask the Medical Council of India (MCI) to ensure that under-graduate and post-graduate medical curriculum includes autism, a development disorder in children, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said Monday.
During a discussion at a conference of the South Asian Autism Network here, Azad said he would also try to ensure that there is increased collaboration between ministries and different departments of the ministries in compiling data and training practices for professionals.
Azad said the health ministry would ask state governments to collect data and compile and analyse it.