Life StyleAbu Dhabi supports 353 couples in making informed health decisions

Abu Dhabi supports 353 couples in making informed health decisions

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Abu Dhabi, UAE- April 2024- Reflecting the Emirate’s ambitions to healthier future for all, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the Emirate and in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC), have supported over 353 Abu Dhabi-based couples in making informed health decisions before marriage through the expanded genetic screening within the premarital screening services provided across the primary healthcare centres in Abu Dhabi.

Recent data underscores the screening’s positive impact with 353 couples having enrolled, an impressive 85% achieved genetic compatibility and only 15% required additional family planning interventions based on genetic results. The screening programme translates both DoH and ADPHC’s efforts in elevating the healthcare journey of couples early on throughout the different phases including diagnostic, genetic counselling and introducing reproductive medicine solutions.

In 2022, DoH and ADPHC incorporated an optional genetic screening in the premarital screening programme as part proactive preventive measures to safeguard the health and well-being of community members. By detecting and preventing genetic conditions, the genetic screening contributes to hindering the transmission of a certain group of hereditary diseases and ultimately leading to a healthier Abu Dhabi community. Offered in over 22 healthcare facilities across Abu Dhabi, the comprehensive genetic screening tests for autosomal recessive 570 genes contributing to 840+ genetic disorders.

Dr. Asma Al Mannaei, Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Centre at the Department of Health– Abu Dhabi (DoH) said: “Recognising the importance of genomics in making informed decisions, Abu Dhabi’s proactive approach places it at the forefront of leading healthcare systems around the world. Integrating genetic tests into premarital screening in Abu Dhabi surpasses the global trend of pushing genomics into mainstream healthcare, paving the way for more precise and effective medicine. The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) remains committed to empowering community members with data and insights that can support them in making informed decisions to manage their health and address potential risks early on.”

Also Read: DOH-Abu Dhabi paves the way for exceptional maternity services

Dr. Omniyat Al Hajeri, Executive Director of Community Health Sector at Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC) said: “This project underscores the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre’s dedication, in partnership with its strategic stakeholders, to establish preventative genetic screening approach and support in identifying high-risk couples by introducing the genetic testing, and therefore facilitating discussion on assisted intervention options and follow up the referral to the IVF centres as needed in the future. Our objective through this initiative is to proactively prevent the transmission of certain group of genetic conditions to the next generation, while providing the support needed to empower individuals regarding future decisions.”

The Department continues to leverage the Emirate’s advanced healthcare infrastructure and innovative ecosystem to utilise the DNA sequencing technology to foresee medical conditions among individuals and encourage the translation of advanced genetic data provided through the Emirati Genome Programme into clinical practice. While genetic compatibility plays a significant role in ensuring the long-term health and wellbeing of future generations, DoH encourages couples to undergo the premarital genetic screening and include it in their marriage plans to support them in early detection, risk mitigation and family planning.

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