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The joy of every society is to have a future healthy generation. The attainment of this will largely depend on the birth and the rearing of children who are healthy. Both active and passive strategies become handy when there is the development of prevention programs. There is need to understand the problem that is in question. Different prevention strategies call for different problems. This paper will look at the prevention strategy required for disability.
The strategy I will discuss to prevent disability is genetic counseling. I choose this because it will bring adverse changes to the effects and the occurrence of children born with disabilities. I say so because having an informed society on gene combination will help to eradicate many problems. It is one of the most effective ways of preventing occurrence of disabilities. The strategy will involve giving information on the recurrence of the risk due to the availability of defective genes. It is effective because the people will also get information on how to prevent the defective genes from being transmitted. Giving them information about the nature and the consequence of defective genes is not only important to the general public but is important to the government as well. The government will get information on how the population is affected or is at risk at all times. The strategy I propose will involve three aspects which are diagnostics, estimation of risk, ad ameliorative measures so that the victims will benefit from the advice that is given (Dalton et al., 2001).
I therefore propose that centers be set in the rural areas and educate the public on the effects that is caused by defective genes. The service workers working in the centers will go from house to house counseling and testing for the likely occurrence for the same. With this strategy, the ignorant lot will get to know the risks that they might be carrying with them faulty/defective genes. Armed with this information, they will have better strategies of eradicating these occurrences. The first step in this strategy is to find out which groups are most risky to be affected or having a child who is affected so that they can be advised accordingly. Getting enough information before conception is very important. It is therefore advisable that there be screening of the most vulnerable couples. Genetic screening is the way forward for this. It has been found out that counseling of premarital couples, carriers of defective genes, or families with disabled child have reduced the likely impact of the subsequent reproductive decision. With genetic counseling giving birth to children with acute disability is greatly reduced (Snow, 1985). This strategy has been applied in Cyprus and it was found out that there was a decrease of the birth of homozygotes for a particular disorder. With health education coupled with genetic screening and counseling, the statistics showed that the homozygous affected children reduced from 53 per 8594 births in 1974 to 0 per 10752 in 1988. This, however, was not effected fully. I feel that effecting this to community level will be an effective way of preventing it.
The other challenge is that of culture and religion. Some cultures do not allow the discussion on disabilities. It is regarded as a taboo. Some cultures does not allow mentioning this, leave alone counseling. It is regarded that the occurrence of this is due to sins that were committed by the lineage of the disabled.
Addressing the challenges
The other challenge is that of culture and religion. This is not a major problem per se because most religions encourage programs that counsel families. They believe that problems can be eradicated if there is enough consultation in the family. It is also according to both biblical and Quran principles that people engage in dialogue and solve each other's burdens. This is something that the program will bank on.
One of the programs that need to be implemented to allow this is DNA testing in the societal level. This will go hand in hand with this because most of the determination will be done using DNA knowledge. Although most of the testing will be done using fingerprints, it is essential that DNA services be involved at some time.
Another service that is required is community mobilization. It is because there is need to convince the public of the importance of genetic counseling. This will precede the actual counseling. It is paramount to do this.