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Database for children with autism in offing

THE Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender Elderly and Children is considering building a system that will identify and keep data of children with autism from grassroots in order to provide their special needs.

Deputy Minister of the docket, Dr Edwin Mollel, stated this over the weekend in Dar es Salaam at an event to mark the World Autism Awareness Day, saying: “The special needs would aim at enabling their (children with autisms) inclusive education and jobs.” Dr Mollel noted that there should be a mode under which public and private health facilities could identify children with autism in the public in order to establish a database.

“Proper way is to capture those children during clinics, we will see how to make a clinic card capture records of children with autism,” he said.

Executive Director of Lukiza Autism Tanzania, which organised the event, Ms Hilda Lukiza, said inclusive education was crucial in identifying and helping the children in the future, adding it also required long term strategies from the government.

On his part, Dr Edward Kija from the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) said currently, they have a special clinic for children with autism that has also been doing well in the past five years since its establishment.

The clinic has been mostly admitting children aged as young as 2 to 3 years for diagnosis.

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