In Photos: Egypt's Ministry of Social Solidarity HQ lit blue on World Autism Awareness day

Mohamed Hatem, Sunday 3 Apr 2022

The Egyptian Ministry of Social Solidarity’s headquarters in Cairo lit up in blue on Saturday to celebrate World Autism Awareness day that has been marked annually on 2 April since 2008.


The celebration comes within the framework of raising awareness about the disorder by informing parents of symptoms for early detection and intervention, Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Qabbaj said in a statement.

Autism requires a collective effort to integrate those who face it into society, she said, adding this has to start with awareness and acceptance.

Autism – also referred to as autism spectrum disorder  ̶  constitutes a diverse group of conditions related to development of the brain, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Characteristics of autism may be detected in early childhood, but is often not diagnosed until much later.

It is estimated that about one in 100 children has autism worldwide, the WHO said.

In April 2019, the assistant minister of education for special needs children said that the number of autistic children in Egypt is between 1-1.5 million.

El-Qabbaj noted that families of those who suffer from the disorder qualify for the ministry’s Takaful and Karama cash support program.

The pandemic has created a disruption that has exacerbated inequalities in education, the UN added, noting how studies confirm autistic students have been disproportionately affected by the disruptions.

In December 2020, Egypt's High Administrative Court mandated the Health Insurance Authority to cover the cost of medicine and treatment of autistic children in what is considered a groundbreaking court ruling for thousands of families of affected by autism in the country.

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