News2019-10-20

Al Jalila Children’s Genomics Centre awarded CAP accreditation

  • State-of-the-art facility offers specialised genome testing lab and a consultancy clinic
  • Genetic disorders affect 2%-5% of all newborns
  • 50% of child deaths are caused by congenital abnormalities 

The Al Jalila Children’s Genomics Centre has received the prestigious College of American Pathologists accreditation – a recognition that certifies its laboratory operates with the highest standards of quality, accuracy, and consistency.           

The Al Jalila Children’s Genomics Centre is the only advanced genomic sequencing diagnostics in the UAE and the region with a focus on paediatric disorders. It offers a wide range of genetic testing and counselling services, thus filling a notable gap in the region for such a facility in view of the global increasing demand for genetic testing. As part of the CAP accreditation, the genetics laboratory was subjected to a series of rigorous tests and customized checklist requirements, including looking into policies, procedures, equipment and the qualifications of the medical team working at the centre, in addition to other technical requirements. The outcome of the inspection was a big yes from the inspectors and the CAP was officially awarded.    

According to studies by the World Health Organisation (WHO), genetic disorders and congenital abnormalities are generally not given the importance they deserve in countries within the the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR). Genetic disorders and congenital abnormalities occur in about 2%-5% of all newborns, account for up to 30% of paediatric hospital admissions, and cause about 50% of childhood deaths in industrialized countries. In fact, genetic and congenital disorders are responsible for a considerable proportion of perinatal and neonatal mortality in many countries in the region.

Dr. Abdulla Al Khayat, CEO of Al Jalila Children’s said: “We are very pleased with this achievement. The CAP accreditation is well deserved as we worked towards ensuring the Genomics Centre and especially its laboratory was state-of-the-art and on par with genetic testing services available globally. It means that a huge number of samples being sent out of the UAE currently can now be tested at the Al Jalila Children’s Genomics Centre with a turnaround time as less as 48 hours in some cases.”              

“When Al Jalila Children’s was established in 2016 through the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, it was a milestone in paediatric healthcare. With the Genomics Centre, we are reaffirming our ability to provide comprehensive and specialised paediatric healthcare of global standards to children in the UAE and beyond. Genetic testing is sought after in the world today and we are proud to have set up a facility that can conduct sophisticated genetic testing,” Dr. Khayat concluded.   

Hany Alfy, International Region Leader – Middle East, the College of American Pathologists, said: “For 70 years now, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) has worked closely with its partners to serve patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine worldwide. We are very pleased to have Al Jalila Children’s Genomic Laboratory as a new member of our big family, and we are confident that, with what our inspectors saw while visiting the facility, the quality of its services are on par with global standards, and the lab will be pivotal in helping the children of the UAE and the region to a healthier future.”

A team of highly specialised, Western board-certified physicians led by Dr. Ahmad Abou Tayoun, Clinical Molecular Geneticist and Director of the Genomics Lab, oversee and run the Genomics Centre at Al Jalila Children’s. Services offered include a genetic counseling core to assist clinicians and families in understanding all aspects of genetic testing such as ordering, billing, consenting, recurrence risk assessment, result disclosure, and family planning. Detailed information about the centre can be viewed on www.genomics.ae 

Al Jalila Children's Specialty Hospital

Al Jaddaf - Dubai United Arab Emirates

800 AJCH (8002524)