Gaza doctors have achieved unprecedented success as they were able to prevent a child from being born with Sanfilippo Syndrome through pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), Palestinian Safa news agency reported yesterday.
Malak was the first child born in her family not to have been inflicted by the genetic disease.
Safa reported that her parents had three children who all had the syndrome; two later died from it while one is living with its side effects.
The illness often appears after a child turns one and its side effects include a decline in learning ability between the ages of two and six. Children with this disease are normally shorter than average and their delayed development often leads to a deterioration in their mental health.
Banon Fertilisation Centre in Gaza used IVF to ensure the foetus did not carry the disease.
The medical centre organised a celebration for the parents, which is considered unprecedented at least in the Arab world.
Fertilisation specialist in Gaza Na’eem Al-Sharif hailed the fact that Gazans could achieve this success despite the tight Israeli siege.
He insisted that this project needs to be adopted by the government in order for it to receive funding, calling for increasing the budget for scientific research.