17 out of 10,000 children autistic in country: Survey

Publish: 12:52 PM, July 12, 2018 | Update: 12:52:PM, July 12, 2018

DHAKA – The prevalence rate of autism in children aged between 16 and 30 months is 17 in every 10,000 in Bangladesh, according to a survey.

The information came out today at a disseminating programme at ‘A’ Block auditorium of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) here.

The Institute of Pediatric Neuro-disorder and Autism (IPNA) organised the event. This is the final outcome of a largest survey titled, ‘Nation-wide Survey on Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Bangladesh 2017’conducted by IPNA, the lone institute of BSMMU.

Professor Dr. Shahina Akhter, Director of IPNA, presented the findings of the survey at the meeting. The survey was conducted in two phases in selected 85 areas of 30 districts under eight divisions across the country from May to November 2017.

The number of total surveyed children was 38,440 and their age was between 16 and 30 months. The findings showed that the autism spectrum disorder prevalence rate is 17 in per 10,000 children. Among them, prevalence in rural areas is 14 whereas the ratio is 25 in 10,000.

The autism prevalence was five times higher for the children of mothers aged between 35 and 39 compared to the mothers aged 20 or less, said the survey.

State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Zahid Maleque was present as the chief guest of the programme with BSMMU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Kanak Kanti Barua in the chair.

Director General, Directorate General of Health Services Prof. Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, Deputy Executive Director, icddr, b Syed Manjurul Islam and vice- chairperson of Shuchona Foundation Prof. Dr Pran Gopal Datta were present as special guests.

Among others, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education) of BSMMU Prof Dr Sahana Akhter Rahman, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research and Development) Prof. Dr. Shahidullah Sikder, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Administration) Prof. Dr.
Sharfuddin Ahmed were also present in the programme.