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Prevention key to managing genetic disorders
BY IMRAN MOJIB June 14, 2017
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DUBAI: According to the World Health Organisation, the most cost-effective strategy for reducing the burden of genetic disorders is to complement disease management with prevention programmes.

“We strongly believe that prevention is the key to reduce the impact of genetic disorders, socially and economically, and is a long-term sustainable solution, especially in a country like ours where close to 60 per cent of population is under 30 years of age,” said Dr Mariam Matar, founder and chairperson of the UAE Genetic Diseases Association.

Dr Matar added, “Community outreach and prevention is one of the best investments we can make, and it will give best returns when you consider the economic impact of screening versus managing the disorders among the UAE population.”

In 2017, UAE GDA continues to work on empowering high-risk groups and community with prevention tools which are affordable and accessible. Together with Bourn Hall Fertility Centre (BHC), several community outreach programmes will help improve quality of life for patients and their families.

“Bourn Hall is proud to support UAE Genetic Diseases Association’s vision and the UAE Government’s agenda to lower the number of genetic disorders in the country. It’s a privilege to be chosen as the preferred partner for the cause by the association and as part of the programme, our fertility centre will continuously create educational forums, events as well as research opportunities in the field of genetics and infertility.”

“Year 2017 is being marked as the Year of Giving by UAE and through our partnerships with UAE Genetic Diseases Association and Dubai Endowment Authority we are able to support the UAE citizens by offering discounted and in some cases free IVF cycles while giving them easy access to our IVF specialists helping them start healthy families,” said Hoda Abou Jamra, Group CEO of Bourn Hall International.

“Genetic testing is the key to improving the quality of genes in a society where consanguineous marriages are common. It is recommended for those with a family history of chromosomal abnormality of any single gene disorder, recurrent pregnancy losses, implantation failures, unexplained infertility, advanced maternal age or male factor infertility. Couples who have had an earlier child with an abnormality could diminish the risk of having the second child with a similar abnormality,” said Dr David Robertson, Group Medical Director at Bourn Hall Fertility Centre in Dubai.

Recent estimates indicate that there may be more than 400 genetic disorders in the UAE.
 

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