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Round 1% of the inhabitants in Ivory Coast might be affected by autism spectrum dysfunction (ASD), in line with estimates from the World Well being Organisation. ASD is an typically taboo topic, nevertheless, and remedy is difficult to come back by because the nation severely lacks the mandatory medical assets to assist sufferers. FRANCE 24’s Sophie Lamotte and Ange Nomenyo report from Bouaké.
Native well being employees in Ivory Coast journey lengthy distances to rural areas of the nation to supply help to autistic youngsters and their households. Poorly acknowledged and under-diagnosed, ASD impacts the lives of many on the southern coast of West Africa and is usually stigmatised by Ivorians.
“In Ivory Coast it’s frowned upon when you may have a baby that has a dysfunction… It brings disgrace to the household, and generally they need to hold them in the home and lock them up,” says Nicolas Kouadio, a group well being employee devoted to bringing extra consciousness of the topic to native populations.
Aside from the necessity for de-stigmatisation, Ivory Coast can also be in desparate want for assets. The nation counts solely 5 little one psychiatrists for greater than 11 million youngsters below the age of 14.
Ivorian well being authorities plan to launch an enormous autism screening undertaking in 2023, however presently there’s just one public care heart within the nation and fewer than a dozen docs educated within the administration of autism.
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