Combatting thalassemia in the United Arab Emirates

Suaad Zayed Al-Oraimi, Gareth Davey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Thalassemia is a major health challenge in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), however previous studies have focused on genetics and molecular characterisation while neglecting culture and society. In this commentary, we discuss how tradition and religion in the UAE (e.g. consanguinity, endogamy, illegality of abortion and in vitro fertilisation, adoption restrictions), and limited academic research, affect the prevention and management of the blood disorder. It is suggested that changing attitudes towards traditional marriage practices, education and awareness campaigns targeting families and young people, and earlier genetic testing, are culturally acceptable solutions to curbing the high incidence of thalassemia in the UAE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752-753
Number of pages2
JournalInternational Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2023


  • Emirati
  • United Arab Emirates
  • consanguinity
  • endogamy
  • genetic testing
  • thalassemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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