Govt prepares national program for children with autism, intellectual disability


Minister for National Health Services Abdul Qadir Patel announced on Saturday that the government has prepared Pakistan’s first national program for children with autism and intellectual disability. Patel said the health ministry will extend cooperation for the establishment of autism and mental disorder centres in four provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), and Gilgit Baltistan (G-B). He further said that a state-of-the-art centre will be established in Islamabad to provide children suffering from autism with both education and treatment.
The health minister announced that “legislation will also be carried out in the parliament for the protection of children with autism and mental disorders,” adding that a survey will be carried out across the country to collect the data on these children.
Further, the minister said in his statement that the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is ready to cooperate with the Pakistani government on this matter.
He assured that practical and effective measures are being taken to bring improvements to the country’s health sector.