Skip Navigation LinksHome > January 2013 - Volume 2 - Issue 1 > Community genetic services in Arab countries
Middle East Journal of Medical Genetics:
doi: 10.1097/01.MXE.0000422777.67364.e5
Review articles

Community genetic services in Arab countries

Hamamy, Hanan

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Abstract

The science of genetics and its potential applications in medicine have progressed very rapidly in the last three decades. To provide equitable access to quality genetic services for all those in need is a challenge to any country. Community genetic services including newborn and carrier screening for common autosomal recessive disorders are offered in a number of Arab countries, though these services are sometimes patchy and do not cover the whole population. Genetic centers have been established in most Gulf countries and other middle income countries such as Tunisia and Egypt. In high-income gulf countries, infant mortality rates have fallen to below 15/1000, which highlights the importance of targeting congenital disorders as a major component in infant mortality. Strategies to implement programs of community genetic services could vary in different Arab countries depending mostly on the economic status of the country, the availability of healthcare providers trained in genetic counseling, and on existing diagnostic services. In general, these strategies do not necessarily require sophisticated technical facilities but are primarily based on comprehensive population screening services, strengthening the education and training of healthcare providers in community genetics, and on increasing public awareness.

© 2013 Middle East Journal of Medical Genetics

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