According to studies by the World Health Organisation (WHO), genetic disorders and congenital abnormalities are generally not given the importance they deserve in countries within the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR).
Genetic disorders and congenital abnormalities occur in about 2%-5% of all newborns, account for up to 30% of paediatric hospital admissions, and cause about 50% of childhood deaths in industrialized countries. In fact, genetic and congenital disorders are responsible for a considerable proportion of perinatal and neonatal mortality in many countries in this region.
The Al Jalila Children’s Genomics Centre is the only advanced genomic sequencing diagnostics in the UAE and the region with a focus on paediatric disorders. It offers a wide range of genetic testing and counselling services, thus filling a notable gap in the region for such a facility in view of the global increasing demand for genetic testing.
The Centre recently received the prestigious College of American Pathologists accreditation – a recognition that certifies its laboratory operates with the highest standards of quality, accuracy, and consistency. As part of the CAP accreditation, the genetics laboratory was subjected to a series of rigorous tests and customized checklist requirements, including looking into policies, procedures, equipment and the qualifications of the medical team working at the centre, in addition to other technical requirements.
A team of highly specialized, Western board-certified physicians led by Dr. Ahmad Abou Tayoun, Clinical Molecular Geneticist and Director of the Genomics Lab, oversee and run the Genomics Centre at Al Jalila Children’s. Services offered include a genetic counselling core to assist clinicians and families in understanding all aspects of genetic testing such as ordering, billing, consenting, recurrence risk assessment, result disclosure, and family planning.
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