Genetic disorders cannot be treated, but can only be avoided. Many parents are not aware that they are the carriers of inherited genetic disorders. And this lack of awareness has caused many children to be born with genetic disorders such as Thalassemia, Haemophilia, Cystic fibrosis and more in Arab population.
Studies by World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that 10 in every 1000 live births suffer from genetic disorders. The numbers are alarming. "About 90% of the Arab population are carriers of at least one genetic disorder and about 19.7% of the couples in Arab nations are at a very high risk of having a child affected with genetic disorder," says Rupali Chopra from IGENOMIX. This is due to the fact that about 40-50% of marriages in Arab nations are consanguineous first cousin marriages.
Amongst the most common genetic disorders, Alpha Thalassemia tops the list affecting 15.30% of the population. Thalassemia is a genetic blood disorder that affects a human body's ability to produce haemoglobin. This is a vital component of red blood cells that is responsible for carrying out oxygen to some of the most vital organs. The abnormal products of red blood cells is the reason why children remain blood deficient and have to rely on transfusion throughout their life.
"We need to screen and find out who are carriers. Then, proper genetic counselling and steps need to be taken to ensure healthy children are born. Every life is important," says Gurpreet, a Thalassemia patient.
Although there is no cure for genetic disorders, IGENOMIX's Carrier Genetic Test (CGT) can help parents prevent them. An important family planning test, CGT helps in determining who is a carrier in both the partners. If both the partners are carriers, there is 25% risk of having an affected child. If the high risk of transmitting a genetic disorder is identified or one or both partners are thalassemia patients themselves, the couples can opt for options like Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) to have a healthy baby.
IGENOMIX is a bio-technology company providing advanced services in reproductive genetics. Further information about the company at http://www.igenomix.com