Hamdan Medical Award discusses prospects of cooperation with the National Genetic Center in Oman
Prof. Najib Al Khaja, Secretary General of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences and President of the Award’s Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS) discussed supporting research in the field of the human genetics in cooperation with the National Genetic Center in the Sultanate of Oman.
This took place during the visit of Prof. Najib Al Khaja to Oman to attend the opening ceremony of the new building of the National Genetic Center by H.E. Dr. Ahmad Al Saeedi, Minister of Health in the Sultanate of Oman.
Prof. Najib Al Khaja expressed his deep appreciation to H.E. Dr. Ahmad Al Saeedi for inviting the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies to be part of such a monumental event. This, according to Prof Al Khaja, stems from the strong relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman, and their deep belief in the role played by Medical Genetics in promoting diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive systems to combat many diseases threatening Arab societies.
“The close relationships between the Center for Arab Genomic Studies and doctors and geneticists in the Gulf region, particularly in the Sultanate of Oman, have resulted in the establishment of the Catalogue for the transmission genetics in Arabs (CTGA) database. Such a database has become an essential reference point for scientists around the world with respect to genetic diseases among Arabs”, Al Khaja said.
“Updating the CTGA database with research results from the Sultanate of Oman had happened very early during the building up of CTGA, signifying the special attention given to this country. Ever since, Omani data in CTGA was updated regularly through continuous follow-up and analysis of relevant studies in genetics. This is totally consistent with the Centre's plan to complete the genetic map of the Gulf countries during the next few years with the inclusion of data from Saudi Arabia”, he added.
Proudly speaking about the National Genetic Center in Oman, Al Khaja said: “The Center is a highly important contribution towards the advancement of human genetics. It will improve the process of dealing with genetic disorders, not only in Oman but in the whole region. It is indeed expected to initiate a quantum leap in the health services in Oman during the coming few years”.
“Currently, the National Genetic Centre is building up specialized groups of professionals in the field of genetic medicine, including clinical and genetic specialists. They will work on developing appropriate protocols to deal with these diseases and identify related genes in order to enhance chances of early diagnosis and develop therapeutics and preventive plans. These actions will be coupled with continuous systematic reviewing to ensure high quality performance”, Al Khaja said.
It is worth mentioning that the National Genetic Center is built on an area of approximately 3550 square meters at a total cost of up to 6,981,665 OMR.
The Center includes three main sections; the first section hosts specialized clinics for congenital malformations, Down syndrome and genetic counseling.
The second section; the laboratories section, includes laboratories for performing chromosomal analysis, molecular genetics analysis, DNA quantification and analysis and chromosomal molecular analysis.
The 3rd section in the Center is dedicated to the activities pertaining to continuing medical education for professionals in that field of genetic medicine.