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(Nigeria) Experts cite "increased awareness" for more autism

Sept 6, 2022, Vanguard: Why Nigeria is recording more autism cases — EXPERTS

Health experts last week in Lagos blamed the growing number of autism cases in Nigeria and other African countries in the last 10 years on increased awareness.

The experts who spoke at the GTCO Plc 12th Annual Autism conference held in Lagos with the theme: “Creating a Community of Autism Advocates also advised parents to seek professional advice in case of suspected autism in their children.

Speaking, a Chief Consultant Psychiatrist and Head of the Child and Adolescent Unit of Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Dr Muideen Bakare, while explaining a typical trend in the Nigerian school and hospital, stated: “While there’s no national figure, the average is about 1:2 percent of the children in school but in clinical setting, the prevalence may be higher than that because parents bring children with problem in the hospital.”

Explaining why there are more cases now, Bakare blamed it on increasing awareness and cultural factors.

“There is a notion that black Africans don’t suffer autism because it’s rarely found among Africans due to our communal living.

“But these days, we have more nuclear family and children have less interactions and little exposure to peer relationship with extended family members because of nuclear setting.

“You need peer to peer interaction for mindset development. Play is an essential part of the development of any child.” …


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