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Community control of genetic and congenital disorders

Alwan, A., Modell, B., Bittles, A.H., Czeilel, A. and Hamamy, H. (1997) Community control of genetic and congenital disorders. World Health Organisation. Office for the Eastern Mediterranean.


A comprehensive guide to recommended strategies for controlling genetic and congenital disorders in Eastern Mediterranean countries. Addressed to policy-makers and service providers, the book aims to heighten awareness of these disorders while also increasing understanding of the interventions available for prevention and control. Although all major hereditary disorders are covered, particular attention is given to haemoglobin disorders, including thalassaemia and sickle cell disease, which are extremely common in these countries.

The book has fourteen chapters presented in four parts. Part one introduces the growing problem of genetic disorders, outlines options for treatment and prevention, and explains the principals of diagnosis. Current and future applications of genetic technology are also briefly discussed. Chapters in part two assess the epidemiological situation in Eastern Mediterranean countries for congenital malformation and chromosomal disorders, single gene disorders, and several common diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and some cancers, that are now know to have a hereditary component. The genetic implications of consanguineous marriage, which remains common in some of these countries, are considered in particular detail.

Available approaches for prevention are described in part three. Separate chapters cover primary health care approaches, the use of family history and population screening to identify couples or families at risk, and the roles of counselling, prenatal diagnosis, and neonatal screening. Part four offers practical advice on policies and services for prevention.

Item Type: Book
Publisher: World Health Organisation. Office for the Eastern Mediterranean
Publisher's Website:
Notes: EMRO Technical Publication Series No. 24
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