Pre-natal genetic counseling in a resource limited country - A single center geneticist's perspectives

Bushra Afroze, Fyezah Jehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To assess the needs related to prenatal genetic counselling in a developing country. Methods: The prospective observational study was conducted at the Prenatal-Genetic Counselling Clinic of Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, from October 2007 to September 2010. In-depth interviews were conducted and the data was stored in the form of patient charts. Information was then extracted from the charts and entered into a structured questionnaire. Results: Of the 93 couples in the study, 49(53%) were in the self-referral group and 44(47%) were in the physicianreferral group. Diagnosis was not given for previously affected children by the paediatrician or by obstetrician for recurrent miscarriages in 68(73%)cases. Besides, 20(22%) couples had voluntarily terminated a pregnancy without any tests because of the fear of having a diseased child. Eleven (12%) couples were looking for amniocentensis or chorionic villus sampling. Death in previous children was the main reason to seek genetic counselling and was seen in 57(61%) couples. Consanguinity was seen in 77(83%) couples. Conclusion: A clear deficiency of knowledge of genetics was seen among the non-genetic healthcare providers. Demand of antenatal genetic testing among the public was also seen, highlighting the need of diagnostic facility for genetic and metabolic disorders. However, this needs to be explored in the context of the existing healthcare infrastructure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1008-1011
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • Consanguinity
  • Genetic disorders
  • Pakistan
  • Prenatal genetic counselling
  • Prenatal genetic testing


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