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UAE: Premarital screening urged for 570 genetic mutations

Free optional service aims to evaluate risk of passing on disorders to future children

Image of DNA used for illustrative purpose only
Image Credit: Pixabay

Dubai: 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.

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The optional service is available at three health centres affiliated with EHS: Family Health Promotion Center in Sharjah, Julphar Health Center in Ras Al Khaimah, and Al Faseel Family Health Promotion Center in Fujairah. These centres will provide individuals with test results within two weeks of service to complete the necessary procedures, where genetic counselling will be provided by specialised consultants to help them make informed decisions if a shared genetic mutation is detected in the couple.

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

Community health in focus

Regarding the outcomes of this service, 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 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 specialised counselling for couples. Furthermore, genetic testing is not limited to those with a family history of genetic disorders but can be beneficial for everyone.


Emirates Health Services emphasises the transformation of genetic data into accurate health predictions by leveraging advanced healthcare infrastructure and the UAE Genome Programme.