A MoU has been signed between Redcliffe Labs, a unit of Redcliffe Lifetech in the U.S., and PGICH, Noida, under which a free genetic counselling facility will be launched in the Medical Genetics Department of PGICH, Noida. Under this agreement, a dedicated genetic counsellor of Redcliffe Labs will counsel families with genetic disorders as well as provide protective genetic counselling for new couples.
This facility in Noida will be an added convenience for families of children with genetic disorders, as most of the centres (Delhi and NCR) do not have a dedicated genetic counsellor to deal with such patients.
An awareness of the patient’s history and inheritance is one of the most crucial components of a genetic disorder diagnosis. For the same reason, a counsellor is crucial to understanding inheritance, which extends to grandparents’ health on both the maternal and paternal sides. To arrive at a conclusion, one must comprehend and attempt to relate the clinical condition or phenotype to an ancestor or in the family. Such a level of information and knowledge enables the counsellor to advise the affected child’s parents on possible future pregnancies.
These genetic counselling services will be offered by the highly qualified genetics team of Redcliffe Labs. The genetic counsellor will offer support and information to families who are dealing with or at risk of genetic disorders. The counsellor will gather and analyse family history and inheritance patterns, determine the likelihood of recurrence, and provide details on genetic testing and associated procedures; and assist in identifying families who may be at risk of a genetic disorder. In particular, the genetic counsellor will assist families in understanding the significance of genetic illnesses in light of their cultural, individual, and familial contexts. Additionally, the genetic counsellor will offer supportive counselling services, act as patient advocates, and direct people and families to other healthcare providers and neighbourhood or government-run support groups.
Commenting on the partnership, Dheeraj Jain, Founder, Redcliffe Labs said, “We are happy to contribute to the noble work being carried out by the Department of Medical Genetics at PGICH, Noida for the care of children and families with rare genetic disorders. Rare diseases are estimated to impact about 6% to 8% of the population in any given country. Even a conservative estimate of the country’s population of 1.35 billion people results in a count of nearly 81 million people. Moreover, 70% of hereditary uncommon disorders manifest themselves in childhood. Besides, North India in particular is known to be very high in genetic disorders and is also characterised by consanguineous marriages, which increases the chance of rare diseases.”
Ishaan Khanna, Director – Reproductive Medicine and Genetics at Redcliffe Labs, said, “The majority of genetic diseases cannot be cured, but they can be avoided. Genetic counselling’s primary goal is to inform people about the genetic disorders that run in their families. The family should have accurate information about the likelihood of having a child with a genetic condition as well as a prenatal diagnosis via pregnancy test. Therefore, genetic counselling is the need of the hour, as it not only saves money in the long run but also saves lives. ”
This agreement has been done initially for one year which can be extended in future with mutual consent of both the parties. This facility of genetic counselling will be done twice a week which will start from 25th July’2022.
The MoU was signed by Prof. Ajay Singh, Director, on behalf of PGICH, Noida and Ishaan Khanna Director – Reproductive Medicine and Genetics at Redcliffe Labs, on behalf of Redcliffe Lifetech, Noida.
It is noteworthy to mention that recently, Redcliffe added the most advanced and high-end ‘NovaSeq 6000’ sequencing system to their diagnostic technology portfolio, making it the first in North India and among the few in line in the country to line up the most advanced and high-end set of instruments.