Genetic disease. What is a genetic disease? Your friend, your brother or sister and even yourself can be suffering from a genetic disease. You and me, as a part of the Arab community, it is our duty to understand genetic diseases in the Arab world in order to decrease the suffering of the human population. According to the Center of Arab Genomic studies, more than 35-55% of the Arab population suffers from 814 different genetically inherited disease, as compared to western countries, which is 1%.
Throughout my speech, I will be discussing the causes of the genetic diseases in the Arab world and revealing the main prevention strategies. BODY OUTLINE I. The causes of genetic diseases in the Arab world are divided into three major categories. A. First of all, Consanguineous Marriages are highly related to genetic diseases in the Arab world. 1. In the Arab world, most of the populations are concentrated within a specific, isolated area and some populations still live in tribes, thus encouraging consanguineous marriages.
In fact, marrying a relative is considered an effective way to protect the unity of a family and to maintain a successful long-lasting relationship due to the familiarity between the couple members and their in-laws. 2. The Center of Arab Genomic studies states that consanguineous marriages are practiced in the Arab countries more than industrialized countries. It is estimated that 45 to 55% of the marriages in the Arab countries are consanguineous. The most common type of consanguineous marriages adopted by Arabs is the first cousin marriage.
3. Rachel, M. states that “the more closely two people are related, the more genes they share. A marriage between first cousins increases the risk of having a child with a severe congenital or genetic disorder by 2. 5 times since parents share one-eighth of their genes. An average of 30% first cousin marriages in a population would increase the birth prevalence of many conditions by 5–15 times and their collective frequency by 5. 5 times”. B. Second of all, we will discuss the demographic causes.
1. According to Tadmouri, G.ethnic diversity is a main cause of genetic diseases in the Arab World. In fact, Arab population is a mixture of various different populations. For examples: Armenians, Bedouins, Druze, Jews, Kurds and others. The ethnic diversity of the Arab population leads to a much bigger gene pool that increases the risks of genetic diseases. The gene pool is the set of all genes, or genetic information, in any population 2. The family size is another origin of genetic disease. Researchers argue that Arab people marry young, which increase the total fertility rate that leads to a large family.
In fact, during 1998-2004 the average family size increased from 5. 6 to 8. 4. At that same period, the total fertility rate was 5. 3 children/woman. 3. Pregnancy at an advance maternal age increases the risk of chromosomal anomalies. C. Third of all of all, I will reveal the educational causes. Most of the Arab people are unfamiliar with the importance of genetic diseases and cannot identify any of the prevention strategies. In plus, Arabs show no interest to seek counseling concerning the matter. Signpost.
Now that we understand the causes of genetic diseases in the Arab world, it is important to better comprehend some prevention strategies. II. I will explain three main strategies to reduce the risk. A. Primary healthcare systems are recommended to detect a genetic disease. 1. Al-Gazali, L. declares that a premarital screening is effective in reducing the burden of genetic diseases. A premarital screening is defined as studying and analyzing a detailed genetic history of a certain family to better understand and calculate the risk of children carrying a certain genetic diseases.
Premarital screening is best recommended to couples who are carriers to a genetic diseases and who are relatives 2. A recent study from The Catalogue for Transmission Genetics in Arabs (CTGA) found that Arabs are showing a great interest in the pre-implantation genetic diagnosis because it does not terminate a pregnancy. This technique uses “fluorescent in situ hybridization technique after in vitro fertilization in a few private obstetric hospitals”.
Numerous chromosome abnormalities have been identified using this technique such as: trisomy 21, 11 and sex aberrations. B. Policies establishment of genetic facilities. 1. Informing the Arab society throughout scientific based campaigns and throughout high-school curriculums about the causes of genetic diseases in the Arab world and about some prevention programs will help reduce the problem in a significant way. The scientific studies should be delivered appropriately and with respect of some religious and cultural beliefs. 2.
Introducing genomic knowledge into medical, nursing and social service programs and encouraging genetic therapy and medical geneticists domains in universities will decrease the risk of genetic diseases. CONCLUSION Today, we have listed the origins of the genetic diseases in the Arab world and some prevention programs. We, as Arabs, are all at risk of having a genetic disease. Being aware of the problem and following some suggested prevention programs can reduce the human suffering. Our potential suffering. By acting on this valuable information, you may save a life.