Primary prevention of hemoglobinopathies by prenatal diagnosis and selective pregnancy termination in a Muslim country: Oman
Hemoglobinopathies (HBP) are the most common genetic disorder in Oman and are in need of prevention programs due to the high incidence of β-thalassemia major and sickle cell disease. Prenatal diagnosis (PD) and selective pregnancy termination is shown to be the most effective prevention tool for the control of HBP. However, PD is not available in Oman thus far because abortion is subject to religious, cultural and ethical issues. We have examined the attitude of a number of Omani HBP carrier couples towards prenatal diagnosis and selective abortion. We have interviewed 35 couples at risk visiting the main premarital clinic in Muscat between Jan 2011 and Jan 2012. Couples were interviewed using a pre-structured questionnaire. The majority would have accepted prenatal diagnosis (94%) if the service would be available in the country but pregnancy termination was greatly influenced by religious values.
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Copyright (c) 2014 Suha Mustafa Hassan, Egbert Bakker, Cornelis L. Harteveld, Piero C. Giordano
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