What Reports says
According to World Health Organization (WHO), 10 in every 1000 live births suffer from genetic disorders. Genetic disorders have reached alarming numbers in Arab population. In Arab countries where around 40-50% of consanguinity first cousin marriages take place, the risk of having a child affected with a genetic disorder is extremely high for about 19.7% in these couples. In fact, about 90% of the Arab population are carriers of at least one genetic disorder
Alpha-Thalassemia, Cystic Fibrosis, Sickle cell Anaemia or Fragile X Syndrome, no matter how alien these disorders may sound to you, but these are the most prevailing genetic disorders in the Arab population. Lack of awareness of the parents has caused many children to be born with genetic disorders. You may be a carrier of a serious genetic disorder like Thalassemia without even knowing. Carriers of genetic disorders are usually healthy people who may or may not have a family history of genetic disorders. Many times, it can come as a shock to the parents because they were unaware that they were the carrier of the disorders. Carriers of the genetic disorder are usually healthy people, so it often goes out of notice that they can be passing a tradition of genetic disorders to their child. If both the parents are carriers then the risk of passing the genetic disorder to their child is 25%.
Know about the genetic disorders and take preventions
Genetic Disorders like Thalassemia is a blood disorder that reduces the production of hemoglobin. In people with the characteristic features of thalassemia, a reduction in the amount of hemoglobin prevents enough oxygen from reaching the body’s tissues. Affected individuals also have a shortage of red blood cells (anemia), which can cause pale skin, weakness, fatigue, and more serious complications. In fact, the prevalence of Alpha thalassemia in Arab population is 15.3%. It is quite true that genetic disorders like thalassemia are not curable, but they can be prevented.
Before family planning couple should determine that risk of having a child affected with genetic disorders. Carrier Genetic Test is one such test offered by Igenomix which helps couples to identify whether the parents are the carriers of the genetic disorder. The test needs to be conducted on both partners before conception. In cases where both partners are found to be a carrier of the same recessive gene, they can ask their specialist about the option of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) to conceive a healthy child.