In collaboration with Emirati Genome Programme

As part of its preventive measures to safeguard the health and well-being of community members, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the Emirate, has incorporated an optional genetic screening in its pre-marital screening programme.

The test is set to cover 570 medical conditions, the incorporation of pre-marital screening into the Programme seeks to enhance the health and quality of life for families through the avoidance of recurrent genetic diseases.

The Department will leverage its advanced healthcare infrastructure and innovative ecosystem to utilise the DNA sequencing technology and foresee medical conditions among individuals and encourage the translation of advanced genetic data provided through the Emirati Genome Programme into clinical practice. This step comes as part of DoH’s ongoing efforts to elevate the patient journey throughout the different phases of their healthcare experience including the diagnostic phase, genetic counseling and introducing reproductive medicine solutions. The Preventive Programme is set to establish carriers of recessive genetic diseases for couples planning to get married and reveal any prospect of passing unfavourable and chronic genetic diseases to their offspring which may require complex treatment. Also it will link the couples to reproductive medicine solutions and options.

The pilot phase will be led by trained family physicians and will commence in two Ambulatory Healthcare Services (AHS) centres including Oud Al Touba Health Centre and Al Maqta Health Centre.

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