Emirati Genome Programme opens more sample collection centres in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, 4th May, 2021 (WAM) -- The Department of Health (DoH) has announced that new sample collection sites have been launched as part of the Emirati Genome Programme’s expansion in Abu Dhabi.

Sample collection sites for the Emirati Genome Programme now include the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Biogenix Labs in Masdar City, Al Towayya in Al Ain, Al Ain Convention Centre and CurePlus Medical Centre, Al Ain. This is in addition to NMC Healthcare’s network in Abu Dhabi, which includes NMC Royal Hospital in Khalifa City, Bareen International Hospital, NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Ain, NMC Royal Medical Centre - Abu Dhabi and NMC Royal Women’s Hospital.

Citizens can also visit Burjeel Hospital’s network of medical facilities in Abu Dhabi, which include Burjeel Medical City in Mohamed Bin Zayed City, Burjeel Oasis Medical Centre in Madinat Zayed, Burjeel Medical Centre in Deerfields Mall, Burjeel Medical Centre at Al Shamkha and Burjeel Royal Hospital, Al Ain.

All Emirati citizens are invited to take part by visiting one of the programme’s sample collection sites and providing a single blood sample. A team will be available at all sample collection sites to guide participants through the process.

The programme operates in line with the highest ethical and governance standards and ensures the anonymity of all participants and the date of their blood donation.

Using the samples provided, the programme will sequence the complete genome of as many citizens as possible to support better prediction, prevention, and treatment of genetic and chronic illnesses for current and future generations. The data will be used to develop healthcare strategies to address the population’s specific needs now and in the future, and support the advancement of preventive medicine in the UAE.

The significance of this historic research project means that every participant is helping to protect their health, as well as that of their loved ones and their community.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Asmaa Al Mannaei, Executive Director of Research and Innovation Centre at the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi, said, "The UAE is an ambitious country and over the past five decades, we have witnessed astonishing progress in building a nation that is among the safest, most prosperous, and technologically advanced in the world."

"It is with this passion and determination and ground-breaking initiatives such as the Emirati Genome Programme, that we embark on one of the largest genomic initiatives ever undertaken, the results of which will advance medical research to the benefit of our citizens of all ages," she added.

Dr. Walid Zaher, Chief Research Officer at G42 Healthcare, said, "The Emirati Genome Programme uses the most advanced sequencing technologies to propose preventive healthcare services and solutions against genetic illnesses."

G42 Healthcare will utilise its recently launched Omics Centre of Excellence, the largest and most technologically advanced omics facility in the region, to analyse data anonymously, generate a comprehensive genomic map, and potentially find breakthrough insights to drive large-scale scientific discovery.

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