UAE, Dubai: In a commitment to encourage informed family planning, Emirates Health Services (EHS) has called on individuals planning to get married to undergo genetic testing as part of pre-marital screenings. This proactive measure aims to screen for over 570 genetic mutations and prevent genetic disorders effectively.

This service is part of Emirates Health Services' proactive approach, aligning with global trends to enhance innovation in genomics and solidify its leading position in the global healthcare landscape. This optional service is available at three health centers affiliated with EHS: Family Health Promotion Center in Sharjah, Julphar Health Center in Ras Al Khaimah, and AlFaseel Family Health Promotion Center in Fujairah. These centers will provide individuals with test results within two weeks of service to complete the necessary procedures, where genetic counseling will be provided by specialized consultants to help them make informed decisions if a shared genetic mutation is detected in the couple.

Regarding the outcomes of this service, H.E. Dr. Essam Al Zarooni, Acting Executive Director of Clinical Services Sector at EHS, explained that genetic testing is a preventive measure that protects community members from genetic diseases. This is done by identifying some inherited disease-causing genes and calculating the chances of passing them on to future children, providing appropriate solutions available when the couple wishes to proceed with marriage and parenthood.

EHS emphasizes the importance of genetic testing as an informed option that offers prospective married couples the opportunity to identify genetic mutations and prevent the transmission of genetic diseases to future generations. EHS clarified that pre-marital testing is mandatory for all individuals planning to marry to screen for infectious and genetic diseases such as thalassemia and sickle cell anemia, while the optional genetic test helps in identify genetic risks to provide specialized counseling for couples, assisting them in making informed decisions about their future health. It is also worth noting that genetic testing is not limited to those with a family history of genetic disorders but can be beneficial for everyone.

Emirates Health Services emphasizes the transformation of genetic data into accurate health predictions by leveraging advanced healthcare infrastructure and the UAE Genome Program. EHS highlights that offering this service aligns with the UAE government's healthcare policies and its forward-looking aspirations in healthcare. This commitment is in line with EHS’ steadfast dedication to achieving the objectives of the “We the UAE 2031” and the UAE Centennial Plan 2071.

EHS added that the service can be accessed by visiting authorized healthcare centers, booking an appointment through the application, or calling 8008877. The service is free and optional for those planning to get married.