05 March 2024

In December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21 March World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD). 

On this day, people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world organise and participate in activities and events to raise awareness. Together we create a single global voice advocating for the rights, inclusion, and well-being of people with Down syndrome. 


People with disabilities do not always get proper healthcare. We need to change it!

On WDSD 2024, the DSi (Down Syndrome international) network is launching a a new topic as we call for Health Equity for People with Disabilities. Inclusive health is a human right. 


Our campaign supporting this topic objective is to raise awareness among doctors to promote better understanding of Down syndrome. The campaign is dedicated to advocating for enhanced healthcare practices tailored to individuals with Down syndrome. Through our “Dear Doctor” initiative on Social Media, participants within our network are urged to share their narratives, encounters, and messages directly aimed at healthcare professionals. By utilizing the hashtags #DearDoctor and #MedEd, individuals can contribute pictures or videos addressing prevalent misconceptions, advocating for personalized care, and potentially broadening perspectives on who and what a person with Down syndrome can embody. This campaign strives to elevate awareness, foster inclusivity, and champion respectful and high-quality healthcare for all. We are preparing materials for your social media use and encourage you to send us videos/photos for our EU social media channels.

What? – videos and photos starting with “Dear Doctor”, two main #: #DearDoctor #MedEd

Who? anyone who wants to participate in this years World Down syndrome day

Where? – Social Media Platforms: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter 

When? – the campaign lasts from 1st March till World Down Syndrome Day 21st of March



  1. Select an idea or create your own (consider current events and context).
  2. Create a video or photo, always start the post with “Dear Doctor” (either in the caption or while talking). This can be in english or your own language.
  3. Incorporate our key hashtags: #DearDoctor and #MedEd. (Examples can be found below) and tag @EUforTrisomy21
  4. Conclude by inviting others to join in and pledge their support. Additionally, share the campaign with your community!



Article 25 of the UN CRPD says that: “persons with disabilities have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability”.

This means that people with disabilities have the right to health equity. 

Every person should have access to the highest attainable standard of healthcare provision where they live.

For people with Down syndrome, this can be realised if:

  • any health diagnosis is based on what is presented, without any discrimination or unnecessary bias;
  • the right health surveillance or treatments take place when they are required and
  • people are supported to understand their healthcare needs and make their own choices.
  • people with disabilities should be provided with easy to understand explanations that empower them to take informed choices

This is what we would expect for any person.



People with Down syndrome are genetically more likely than others to have some health issues. For example, heart problems, thyroid issues, sleep apnoea and dementia.

However, most of the health issues that people with Down syndrome face can be treated or managed with a good medical follow up.

There are many external causes of the poor health outcomes that people with Down syndrome have. These causes are the same for other people with disabilities, although people with intellectual disabilities are among the worst affected.

The World Health Organization report highlights some of these causes:

  • Structural factors – for example, stigma and discrimination, or inadequate policies and processes.
  • Social factors – for example, living in poverty or transport not being accessible.
  • Risk factors – for example, not being physically active or having a poor diet.
  • Issues with health systems – for example, badly trained health professionals or poor-quality health services.



The World Health Organization report outlines 40 actions that can be taken to improve health outcomes for people with disabilities:

We’ve highlighted some of them:

EU for Trisomy 21 idea: Create a video where a person with Down syndrome dresses up in doctor attire, symbolizing their involvement and engagement in healthcare processes. Show them interacting confidently with healthcare professionals, perhaps discussing the importance of disability inclusion in healthcare. Caption: “Dear Doctor, inclusion starts with representation. Let’s engage all everyone for a healthier, more inclusive world. #DearDoctor #MedEd”

  • (#1)Show individuals with Down syndrome advocating for health equity, perhaps holding signs with messages like “Healthcare for All” or “Equal Access to Care.” Caption: “Dear Doctor, everyone deserves fair healthcare. Let’s work for inclusive care. #DearDoctor #MedEd”


  • (#31)Capture images or short videos of accessible healthcare facilities, showcasing ramps, wide doorways, and other accommodations. Caption: “Dear Doctor, let’s make hospitals easy to use for everyone. #DearDoctor #MedEd”


  • (#26)Share a video of a person with Down syndrome parti cipating in disability inclusion training for healthcare providers, highlighting the importance of such initiatives. Caption: “Dear Doctor, let’s teach all doctors to be friendly and helpful. #DearDoctor #MedEd”


  • (#14)Feature a group discussion or meeting involving individuals with Down syndrome, healthcare professionals, and policymakers discussing disability inclusion in healthcare. Caption: “Dear Doctor, let’s all talk together to make healthcare better for everyone. #DearDoctor #MedEd”


  • (#34)Showcase someone with Down syndrome using accessible digital health tools or apps, emphasizing the importance of technology for healthcare access. Caption: “Dear Doctor, let’s make sure everyone can use health apps easily. #DearDoctor #MedEd”


  • (#35)Share a testimonial video where someone with Down syndrome talks about their experiences with healthcare and emphasizes the need for respectful and quality care. Caption: “Dear Doctor, let’s be kind and helpful to everyone who comes for help. #DearDoctor #MedEd”


  • (#38)Create a graphic or infographic highlighting key metrics for monitoring disability inclusion in healthcare systems, encouraging healthcare providers to track progress. These metrics may include things like accessibility of healthcare facilities, satisfaction levels of patients with disabilities, availability of disability-specific services, etc. Caption: “Dear Doctor, let’s check if we’re doing a good job helping everyone. Together, we can make a difference. #DearDoctor #MedEd”

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