Saima Wazed Hossain appointed as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Autism in South Asia

Jul 8, 2017 08:08 IST

Saima Wazed Hossain was on 6 July 2017 appointed as the WHO's Goodwill Ambassador for Autism in the South-East Asia region. A globally renowned champion for the cause of autism spectrum disorder, Hossain has been appointed for a period of two years.

In the last one year while championing for the cause of autism for WHO, Hossain facilitated the 'Thimphu Declaration' on autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders at an international conference in Bhutan in April 2017.

As WHO Goodwill Ambassador, Hossain will be promoting the Thimphu declaration which emphasises on integrating the needs of autism affected people into national health and socioeconomic development plans.

Hossain was designated as WHO Regional Champion for Autism in May 2016.

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Autism and its prevalence
Autism is a life- long disability that affects brain functioning. When left without proper treatment and support, Autism can cause significant impairment in exercising of an individual's human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Globally, autism prevalence rates are estimated to be 160 cases in a population of 10000. In low and middle income countries, children with autism do not get the medical attention and care they need.

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