Special Correspondent: April 16, 2017: Many genetic disorders could be prevented if marriage between first cousins is controlled, said Professor A K Azad Khan, president at Diabetic Association of Bangladesh.
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin.
He said this while addressing a conference jointly organized by Institute for Developing Science and Health Initiatives and Center for Medical Biotechnology in the capital on Saturday.
Marriage between first cousins increases chance of having baby with potentially life-threatening birth defects. He stressed on the importance of blood test before marriage.
Citing an example of Cyprus this noted professor said, ‘The impact on babies following the marriage between first cousins is discussed in the Church’.
In spite of the warning, a blood test is a must during pregnancy if relatives are determined over their decision. A blood test can identify baby’s genetic fault (if any) and also a decision can be taken following the result.
Prof. Dr. Naiyyum Choudhury, Chairman at Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA), presided over the conference.
Professor Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, director general (DG) at Directorate General Health service (DGHS); John Clemens, executive director at International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b); Dr. Ferdousi Qadri, emeritus scientist, among others, spoke on the occasion.
Child expert Dr. Narayan Saha in the key note paper presentation said, ‘There are about 10,000 rare diseases globally and most of them are responsible for genetic disorder’.
The scientists said a total of about 14,000 children take birth with genetic disorder in Bangladesh every year.
Dr. Mohammad Kaisar Mannu said the number of children with genetic disorder has been alarmingly increasing while the mortality rate of children decreasing.
However, the physicians came up with the call to avoid marriage between first cousins to prevent genetic disorders among kids.