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Saima shares BD's role in supporting autistic children with global community

April 08, 2021 00:00:00

World Health Organisation (WHO) Goodwill Ambassador for Autism in South-East Asia Region, has shared good practices from Bangladesh with the international community in supporting children with autism and their families during the pandemic, including through targeted support measures and use of ICTs, reports UNB.

"The children with autism and their families suffered disproportionately due to disruptions in their education and therapeutic services during the pandemic," said Saina, also Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on Autism and Neuro-developmental Disorder, Bangladesh in a virtual roundtable in New York recently.

She, however, said in Bangladesh the existing social support system, strong ICT infrastructure and robust community-based health services helped many families cope up with the challenges.

On the occasion of World Autism Awareness Day 2021, Bangladesh Permanent Mission, along with the Permanent Missions of Brazil, Kuwait, Poland, Qatar and Korea, UN DESA and Autism Speaks organised the virtual roundtable titled 'Autism at the Covid-19 Pandemic: How Technology Can Support Equitable Global Response and Recovery'.

Referring to the increased awareness on autism, she said that 'during the last seven years the National Advisory Committee on Autism in Bangladesh has worked together with various stakeholders, ministries and departments to mitigate the challenges and stigma faced by the persons with autism and other neuro-developmental disorders."

Saima referred to the social challenges and stigma that the families face in many societies including Bangladesh and highlighted how positive changes have been brought about in Bangladesh through sustained awareness raising and information sharing.

The event was co-chaired by Ambassador Rabab Fatima, permanent representative of Bangladesh to the UN along with the Permanent Representative of Qatar.

Ambassador Rabab Fatima thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her leadership and commitment in addressing the challenges of the persons with autism and also commended the endeavors undertaken by the government in this regard.

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