UAE genome project makes significant strides

The Emirati Genome Programme has successfully collected over 600,000 samples from across the country so far, and efforts are underway to expand this to one million samples…reports Asian Lite News

The UAE Cabinet has reviewed the achievements of the Emirates Genome Council, chaired by H.H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Executive Council.

Chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the UAE Cabinet meeting saw presence of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court; H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.

H.H. Sheikh Mohammed said that the Emirati Genome Programme has successfully collected over 600,000 samples from across the country so far, and efforts are underway to expand this to one million samples.

“More than 1,000 of our medical professionals have been trained to support this programme,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“The contribution of over 600,000 citizens to this programme ensures the development of a clear map of genetic and hereditary diseases in the country, aiding in the creation of targeted treatments for these diseases.”

He said this will result in better and stronger healthcare for future generations. “We encourage everyone to cooperate with this comprehensive national medical programme to make our community healthier and our future generations stronger.”

Additionally, an experimental launch of premarital screening to cover all genetic and hereditary diseases will take place in the coming period.

Hailing Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed’s leadership, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said UAE Genome Council has made significant strides in establishing the country’s global scientific position in this field and utilising this new science to develop comprehensive and integrated healthcare for new generations.

The council’s accomplishments included launching the National Genome Strategy, aimed at advancing healthcare and quality of life in the UAE through establishing an integrated ecosystem for developing and implementing precision medicine and personalized healthcare programs

 The strategy also seeks to support physicians and sector experts in taking proactive steps and more effective treatment paths, to further develop R&D capabilities, broadening the use of Genome science, and instilling international partnerships among local and international institutions.

Additionally, the achievements include the issuance of a federal decree-law regulating the use of the human genome. In terms of comprehensiveness, this new legislation is the first of its kind globally in genome regulation.

The Emirati Genome Programme has reached an exceptional achievement and a remarkable milestone of collecting over 600,000 gene samples from donors, in 102 collection sites in the UAE.

The number of collected samples represents 60% of the one million samples target, aimed at profiling and determining gene sequencing in the UAE. This will facilitate developing cures tailored for some genetic disorders, and better healthcare for the coming generations. More than 1100 healthcare employees have been trained to collect genetic samples. Work is underway to launch new phases of the genome tests regarding newborns and premarital health screening detecting all genetics and hereditary diseases.

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