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Health News of Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Source: thestaronline.info

Cameroon is moving towards a better management of autism -Prof. Fame Ndongo

Higher Education Minister, Prof. Jacques Fame Ndongo says Cameroon is moving towards an efficient and effective management of autism. He said the government is doing all to completely integrate children born with autism into the society because they too have an important role to play.

Prof. Fame NdongoSpeaking at a ceremony at the Yaounde Conference Centre last Wednesday to mark the 7th World Autism Day that was placed under the auspices of Cameroon’s First Lady and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Education and Social Inclusion, Chantal Biya, Prof. Fame Ndongo in his capacity as personal representative of the First Lady said communities must ensure that children born with autism have access to education and jobs when they finished school.

He also announced a number of measures that the Cameroon government has undertaken to assist children with autism such as the imminent creation of the Higher Institute of Applied Psycho Pedagogy by the Orchidée Home Foundation to train health professionals specialized in the management of autism.

The centre, the Minister went on would be used to integrate and counseling of the autists plus re-education and integration of the patients. New branches he said would be created in the higher education system in the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences while more public sensitisation would be carried out so that people can be part of the autist solutions rather than part of their problems.

He thanked all medical experts for their scientific contributions to treat children with autism including Cameroonian researchers whom he said have done quite a lot in the domain of social governance of children born with autism.

He said the day set aside to reflect on ways on the fight against autism in Cameroon is a good initiative of Chantal Biya and this according to him is just one of the First Lady’s humanitarian activities to help the underprivileged in Cameroon and in her fight against social exclusion of underprivileged children such as those born with autism.

Prof. Fame Ndongo’s main message was a call on all institutions, groups and associations as well as governments despite all the constraints and economic challenges, to make sure that the autist have access to education and to jobs so that they can be completely integrated into the society. The public was reminded that autists have a role to play in the development of their country and according to the UN Resident Representative present at the occasion, including children with different learning abilities into the main stream and specialised schools, the public could change their attitudes and promoting respect.

Presumably, Cameroon is on the right page because Prof. Fame Ndongo disclosed that from October 2014, the Higher Institute of Applied Psycho Pedagogy will open its doors with a cycle in professional license for the training of educational specialists.

He also announced the opening of a Professional Master in the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences of the University of Yaounde I. The specialties expected amongst others would include Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy, Psycho Pedagogy Child Psychology and Anthropology, fundamental fields necessary for the rehabilitation of children with autism, according to Marie Melanie Bell, president of the Orchidée Home association specialised in the education and care of children with autism.

In a message from the Secretary General of the United Nations to States on the occasion, he said the World Autism Day was a “Call for Action” not just because one in 150 children is born with autism spectrum disorders in the world, but also because the victims of autism deserve all the opportunities in education, employment and integration. The 8th Cameroonian Autism Day launched last Monday and the 7th World Autism Day were organised around a central theme: “The autonomy of persons with autism, a shared responsibility.”

Marie Melanie Bell invited families, NGOs, the medical corps and especially the State to ensure that their responsibilities are effective. To the State specifically, she asked that in addition to training, a legislative framework be put in place to ensure the integration of victims of autism. She also called on the authorities that be to create a special fund for autism to promote early diagnosis, care, education and employment.

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