Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:21 AM | Saturday, February 22nd, 2014
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – February has been designated Down syndrome consciousness month.
To raise awareness, the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines Inc. (DSAPI) in partnership with SM Cares, the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Supermalls, is holding Happy Walk at the SM North Edsa Skydome on Feb. 23, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The event titled “Living It Up with Down, Party All Day” will showcase the many talents and interests of people with Down syndrome. It will be followed by a walk around the SM North Edsa grounds. Registration starts at 8 a.m.
Happy Walk is one of the programs of SM Cares in recognition of the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs). SM Supermalls have been cited as the most PWD-friendly mall in the country.
One in every 800 babies born has Down syndrome, accounting for around 1,900 cases each year in the Philippines in a population of 1.5 million live births, according to DSAPI. More than 100,000 families in the country are living with a person with Down syndrome, the group also noted.
Down syndrome is a type of mental retardation caused by a process called nondisjunction in which genetic materials fail to separate during a crucial part of the formation, resulting in extra chromosomes called trisomy 21. The syndrome results in delays in a person’s development and other physical manifestations.