Support International Down Syndrome Day With Affinity Health
In support of International Down Syndrome Day on 21 March 2021, Affinity Health encourages all South Africans to advocate for the rights of people with Down syndrome.
Down syndrome (DS for short) is a chromosomal disorder that affects babies during pregnancy. Usually, a baby is born with 46 chromosomes, but babies with DS have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes (chromosome 21). This extra copy changes your growing baby’s body and brain development.
Babies with DS often have distinct facial features. Some have intellectual disabilities and developmental delays. Regular check-ups can help detect and correct any problems your baby may have early on and help improve speech and language, mobility, and cognitive development.
DS remains the most common chromosomal condition diagnosed in South Africa and affects about two in every 1000 live births in our country. While no one knows why DS occurs, one factor believed to increase the risk is the mother’s age at the time of conception. Women who are 35 years or older when they fall pregnant seem to have an increased risk of having a baby with DS.
There are two basic types of tests available to detect DS during pregnancy: screening tests and diagnostic tests. A screening test can tell a woman and her healthcare provider whether her pregnancy has a lower or higher chance of having DS. In contrast, Diagnostic tests can typically detect whether or not a baby will have DS.
If you’re unsure about which test, if any, is suitable for you, your doctor or healthcare provider can help you weigh the pros and cons of each.
“The good news is that due to advances in medical technology, individuals with DS are living longer than ever before. In 1910, children with DS were expected to survive to age nine, but today over 80% reach age 60, and many live even longer,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.
“While DS is a lifelong condition, a child with DS can reach developmental milestones with the help of speech, occupational, and physical therapy. Coupled with a healthy lifestyle, children with DS can live full lives, integrate into society, and be active members of their community.”
About Affinity Health
Affinity Health aims to provide premier quality, affordable medical insurance to South Africans. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service when they are faced with injury or illness. We work to deliver innovative solutions that are simple, cost-effective, and proven, so our cover is structured to ensure that you get exactly what you need. For more information, follow us on Facebook, and Instagram.