In 2017, the number of babies born with Down Syndrome in Australia fell from 1,039 to 807, the Department of Human Services reported.
This year the number is expected to fall to 635, a reduction of 50 per cent.
The Department of Health says it has been working hard to find a cure for Down Syndrome, but there is no clear cure.
A spokesperson for the Department said the department is committed to working with other countries to find an effective treatment.
They are also working with the Australian Government to develop a new screening test for Down syndrome.
“We know that people who have Down Syndrome are at an increased risk of experiencing early life health issues, and we want to make sure that as we work together we can make the most of our opportunities,” the spokesperson said.
“At the same time, we also want to be mindful of the potential risks associated with screening for Down and we are working with a number of other countries and other organisations to look at ways to reduce the risk.”
But there is a growing consensus among researchers that the testing is a good way to identify Down Syndrome.
Dr James White, who runs the University of Melbourne’s Centre for the Study of Down Syndrome and Autism (CSDSA), said the results of his research showed that people with Down syndrome were significantly more likely to be diagnosed and have a positive result from a diagnostic test.
“What I find really interesting is that, statistically, they have been able to be detected a lot earlier than the population of people with normal development, which means they are less likely to have some adverse outcomes,” he said.
Dr White also said that screening could potentially help in the future.
“It is possible that our testing might help reduce the incidence of Down syndrome and, in particular, reduce the number and frequency of children with autism in the community, which is a great thing,” he told 7.30.
“But I would expect that we’d have to see a real need for further research to confirm this and to see if it really works.”
Dr White said he hoped that more research into screening would be undertaken in the near future.
He said that while he was confident in the results from his research, he would be wary of the test being used as a tool to try and identify Down syndrome in the general population.
“I would have to be very careful about using it to try to identify those children who might be at risk of having a diagnosis of Down and autism,” he explained.