An Autism day care centre, a first in Mauritius, to the tune of Rs 2.5 million, was inaugurated recently at Triolet, in the context of World Autism Day 2022. The Centre, under the aegis of SSRN Hospital, will provide mental and behavioral health care facilities to persons suffering from autism.
The multidisciplinary Centre would provide psychological support to children and adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorders as well as their caregivers. It would have an Occupational Therapist who would help increase their autonomy and equip them with daily life skills. The Centre would also have a Speech Therapist to help people with Autism Spectrum Disorders develop their social and communication skills. Other Autism Day Care Centres under all other regional hospitals would follow.
The Minister of Labour, Human Resource Development and Training and Minister of Commerce and Consumer Protection, Mr Soodesh Satkam Callichurn; the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Jagutpal; and the Parliamentary Private Secretary, Mr Sharvanand Ramkaun, were present at the ceremony.
The World Autism Day is observed annually on 02 April and the theme for this year is Inclusion in the workplace, challenges and opportunities.
In his address, Minister Jagutpal stressed that the Day is an occasion to reflect on the need to foster inclusive quality education for people with autism so that they can fulfill their potential and achieve sustainable success in the labour market.
According to the World Health Organisation, he indicated, 1% of the world population suffers from autism. The abilities and needs of autistic people vary and evolve over time, he said, adding that some live independently while others have severe disabilities and require life-long care and support.
He recalled that Government made a provision of Rs 10 million in Budget 2021-2022 to put in place an Autistic Day Care Ward in all regional hospitals to cater for persons suffering from autism. A complete audiology and speech therapy service for children and adults at the Floréal Mediclinic was inaugurated last week, he added.
Minister Jagutpal appealed to persons suffering with autism and their families to benefit from the Autism Day Care Centre and ensure that their rights and well-being are respected.