Prevent genetic disorders, The speakers at an awareness seminar on genetic diseases in Pakistan on Friday underscored the need for prenatal testing and molecular diagnostic labs to reduce genetic disorders among the populace.

Tests to prevent genetic disorders

The seminar titled ‘The Incidence of Hereditary Diseases in Pakistan, Prevention through Tests to ‘prevent genetic disorders’Awareness’ was organized by the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Khyber Medical University (KMU) here in collaboration with Dosti Welfare Organization. Doctors and genetic diseases researchers from across the country and the province participated in the one-day seminar. Dr Musharraf Jelani, Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Omic Sciences, Islamia College University Peshawar, said that statistical data shows rare diseases are not rare in Pakistan. He added that 99 per cent of genetic disorders were incurable; however, some management of the patients could happen. Dr Jelani suggested that molecular diagnostic labs needed to be established in all parts of the country to reduce the incidence of rare genetic diseases. Maj Gen Prof Dr Suhaib Ahmed said that prenatal diagnosis was a proven method to prevent genetic disorders, adding that it could help in choosing a healthy individual. Professor Ahmed said that the introduction of prenatal diagnosis in the Mediterranean region in the mid-1970s and early 1980s helped dramatically reduce the incidence of thalassemia in the region. Dr Fawadul Qamar, head of clinical oncology at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital Peshawar, described the cancer genetics and said that 85 per cent of cancer was sporadic, 10 per cent was familial, and only 5 per cent hereditary. He also stressed the importance of genetic counseling for parents.

Dr Najibullah Khan, Associate Professor of the Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering at the University of Agriculture Peshawar, presented his findings on breast cancer genetics in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. He said that fear, shame, ignorance, and reliance on faith healers and herbal medicines were main reasons behind delayed diagnosis of breast cancer in the province. Dr Yasar Youafzai, Director of KMU Public Health Reference Lab, discussed the genetics of alpha thalassemia in Pakistan.  prevent genetic disorders, At the same time, Dr Hafsah Muhammad’s talk focused on the genetics of mental and behavioral disorders linked with anti-social behaviors among individuals suffering from these conditions. In the closing session the Vice Chancellor KMU applauded the efforts of the Dosti Welfare Organization and its founding member Dr Munir Ahmad a KMC graduate, instrumental in putting about two hundred thousand children on the path of education and starting the Dr Zakia Minhas Award worth $5,000 annually for Best Medical Graduate of the K-P. Special Secretary Health, Abidullah Kakakhel, graced the event as the chief guest. In his remarks, he said that KMU was the provincial government platform for conducting medical research. He underscored the importance of research and awareness in reducing the incidence of genetic disorders in Pakistan. He said that genetic disorders were causing great distress to affected families, and their incidence could be reduced through research and awareness.

Source: This news is originally publied by tribune

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