ISLAMABAD - Italian ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo said that Autism was a very sensitive issue all over the world.

Presiding over an event to mark the World Autism Day here on Wednesday along with his wife Lidia Pontecorvo, the envoy said: “We are happy and proud to promote awareness about autism, and to help in establishing contacts and agreements between the world-renowned Italian centre ‘IRCCS Oasi Maria Santissima’ and ‘PAHSR Foundation’ which aims to become a comprehensive treatment centre of this disorder.”

Autism, he said, concerns an estimated number of over 350.000 children and adults. “We strongly hope that everyone will show solidarity towards this noble cause,” he added.

The envoy said that the aim of the Italian Embassy was not only to help PAHSRF, ‘but that of raising awareness on autism problems in Pakistan’.

The event was an occasion not only to raise awareness on the issue and highlight the phenomenon itself and its diffusion in Pakistan, but also to make known the activity and the projects of the Foundation through co-founder and Director Sana Azhar.  The Foundation, of which the Italian Ambassador and his wife are Chief Patrons, cooperates with the Italian Institute “Associazione Oasi Maria SS Onlus”, based in Troina, Sicily, which is a world renowned institution at the forefront in the diagnosis and treatment of autism and other disorders and which will offer its expertise to the Foundation and train its personnel.

Last week, Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo had met the minister of health of Punjab Yasmeen Rashid.