Newborn screening: Experiences in the Middle East and North Africa
- 656 Downloads
This review presents the current experiences with newborn screening in the Middle East and North Africa region. The population in the region is about 400 million, with high birth rate and an estimated 10 million newborns per year. The majority of the population is of the Islamic faith and mostly Arab. The population is characterized by a high consanguinity (25–70%) and a high percentage of first-cousin marriages. Haemoglobin disorders, inherited metabolic disorders, neurogenetic disorders and birth defects are relatively common among the population. There is a rather slow progress in developing and implementing preventive genetic programmes owing to legal, cultural, political and financial issues. Although research spending is rather soft in the region, there are numerous pilot studies that highlighted the high incidence of genetic defects and the need for newborn screening programmes. Currently, there are only four countries that are executing national newborn screening but they vary from one disease to 23 and coverage is not complete. The region needs to take big steps towards developing national strategies for prevention and should learn from experiences of regional and international screening programmes.
KeywordsCongenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Newborn Screening Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis Congenital Hypothyroidism G6PD Deficiency
- Al-Hosani H, Salah M, Saade D, Osman H, Al-Zahid J (2003) United Arab Emirates national newborn screening programme: an evaluation 1998–2000. East Mediterr Health J 9: 324–332.Google Scholar
- Bittles AH (1995) When cousins marry: a review of consanguinity in the Middle East. Prespect Hum Biol 1: 71–83.Google Scholar
- Ensenauer, RE, Michels VV, Reinke, SS (2005) Genetic Testing: Practical, Ethical, and Counseling Considerations. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 80: 63–73.Google Scholar
- Hashishe MM (1992) Genetic study of phenylketonuria. J Egypt Pub Health Assoc 67: 443–463.Google Scholar
- Ilkilic I (2005) New bioethical problems as a challenge for muslims. Retrieved from polylog: forum for intercultural philosophy at <http://them.polylog.org/6/fii-en.htm>.
- Joshi SN, Venugopalan P (2007) Clinical characteristics of neonates with inborn errors of metabolism detected by tandem MS analysis in Oman. Brain Dev Feb 19. [Epub ahead of print].Google Scholar
- Ordookhani A, Mirmiran P, Moharamzadeh M, Hedayati M, Azizi F (2004) A high prevalence of consanguineous and severe congenital hypothyroidism in an Iranian population. 17: 1201–1209.Google Scholar
- Teebi A, Farag T (1997) Genetic disorders among Arab populations. New York: Oxford University Press. [Oxford Monographs on Medical Genetics No. 30].Google Scholar