Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

1,000 Hong Kong couples with history of birth problems to be eligible for free tests

1,000 Hong Kong couples with history of birth problems to be eligible for free tests

New scheme aims to help more local couples who carry genetic diseases be aware of underlying conditions that may cause disabilities in newborns.

Hongkongers who have suffered recurrent miscarriages or fetal maldevelopment in their children will be among about 1,000 couples eligible for free screening and counselling in a new scheme set up by Chinese University and the Family Planning Association.

The programme, which opens for application from next Friday, aims to help more local couples who carry genetic diseases be aware of their underlying conditions that may cause disabilities in their children.

“We hope this programme will … bridge the service gap, especially for those underprivileged groups who cannot afford the services even if they are at high risk,” said Professor Leung Tak-yeung from the university’s department of obstetrics and gynaecology, which co-organises the scheme.

Dr Mona Lam Wai-cheung, executive director of the Family Planning Association.

The Family Planning Association will help process applications and carry out initial assessments in its clinics across the city.

The programme will run for three years and help about 1,000 couples a year.

Eligible couples must be Hong Kong ID card holders above the age of 18, who are planning a pregnancy and fulfil one of six criteria. They include experience of at least two miscarriages or repeated fetal malformations or disabilities; previous unexplained fetal or neonatal conditions; and marriage involving first or second-degree relatives.

The other three criteria are a family history of intellectual disabilities, miscarriage or malformation; having high-risk factors for genetic disorders; and belonging to an ethnic group known to be susceptible to monogenic diseases.

Couples can be referred by healthcare professionals to join the free screening or file applications on the association’s website.

Leung said global data indicated that out of every 1,000 couples, two to three would be asymptomatic carriers of genetic diseases that could lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as stillbirths and thalassaemia or spinal muscular atrophy in the newborns.

Ordinary screening can only be done during pregnancy or after a baby is born, and can only detect some genetic conditions, such as Down’s syndrome and metabolic disorders.

But Chinese University has developed a technology that can detect about 300 mutations in a person’s DNA through an all-in-one blood test. Low-risk couples can also register for the test for about HK$4,000 (US$509).

The university’s clinical history showed the test, together with in vitro fertilisation technology, could help couples with repeated miscarriages conceive children who are asymptomatic despite still being carriers of genetic conditions.

Leung also said the scheme aimed to offer new information on the status of local carriers and provide healthcare professionals with training to cope with the increasing demand for preconception genetic counselling services.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.