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LAHORE: World Autism Day was marked here Sunday with a resolve that all out efforts will be made to raise awareness about the disease so that with early diagnosis and timely treatment of the disease, children suffering from it can be made useful for their family and society.

To mark the day, different events were held in which speakers highlighted different aspects of the disease.

Governor Punjab Muhammad Balighur Rehman attended a ceremony organized by Children’s Hospital at the Governor’s House regarding the day. Addressing the gathering, the Governor said that the purpose of marking the day is to create awareness about autism among people.

He said that autism is a disease that hinders brain development and affects a child’s speech, social relations and intelligence. In the absence of timely diagnosis, children affected by autism fall behind to normal children and face problems in normal schools, he said and added that this affects not only the child’s own life, but the entire family.

However, with early diagnosis and timely treatment of this disease, such children can be made useful for their family and society. He said that there is a need to create awareness about autism among people on the media, especially on social media.

The Governor said that it is commendable that Children Hospital Lahore is the first government hospital in which Department of Developmental Behavioral Paediatrics has been established, adding that this department is playing a significant role in the diagnosis and treatment of autism.

He said that he appreciates the Vice-Chancellor of University of Child Sciences, Prof. Dr. Masood Sadiq, Department Head, Prof. Dr. Shazia Maqbool and his entire team for their dedication and good work. He said that the Department of Health, Special Education and many NGOs are doing good work for children affected by autism, but there is a need for collaboration among all the important stakeholders.

On this occasion, caretaker provincial Health Minister Dr Javed Akram, Vice Chancellor University of Child Health Sciences, Prof Dr Masood Sadiq, Special Secretary Development and Reforms, Specialized Health and Medical Education, Syed Wajid Ali Shah also addressed the ceremony.

Caretaker Provincial Minister Health, Dr Javed Akram, in this speech said that it is remarkable that this event was organized at the Governor’s House to create awareness about autism and to encourage those working on autism. He said that there is a need to work on a Provincial Autism Policy.

Vice-chancellor University of Child Health Sciences, Professor Dr. Masood Sadiq, Special Secretary Development and Reforms, Specialized Health and Medical Education, Syed Wajid Ali Shah also addressed the ceremony and said that parents need to be made aware that screen time of children till the age of two years should be zero.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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