Health Minister Urges Use of Genetic Database

Health Minister  Urges Use of  Genetic  DatabaseHealth Minister  Urges Use of  Genetic  Database

The minister of health has said that the country is lagging in utilizing its genetic database while people from other nations are benefiting in health care from research conducted by their scientific centers.

Genetic database provides data from complex diseases and disorders for the purpose of scientific research.

Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi said during a visit to Yazd Province that no country in the world “wastes its genetic database, but unfortunately we are allowing that to happen” according to Mehr News Agency (MNA).

Hashemi, who was addressing a gathering of health officials and experts, expressed regret that despite the large number of research centers in the country, “all the credit goes to foreign research centers.”

Elsewhere, the minister expressed satisfaction over health care in the province and said “there should be at least four physicians alongside four midwives in towns with less than a 20,000 population and this standard is by and large observed in Yazd.”

He emphasized the capabilities of the province as a hub for health research programs and said since the people cherish family values and tradition “it can be a suitable place to conduct pilot programs on health and medical research.”

  Diabetes Warning

Meanwhile, Hashemi warned against the increase in the number of cancer and diabetic patients in the province and said there must be a connection between “the sweet tooth of the people of Yazd and the rising rate of diabetes among them.” Hence a study should be taken up on “their confectionary and sweets.” He hoped to speak directly with the confectioners to find out what ingredients they use - a factor that could be the key to addressing the issue.

Yazd has the fourth highest rate of diabetes in the nation after Qom, Ardebil, and East Azerbaijan.  Yazd confectioneries are tremendously popular and are a major source of income, besides tourism. Workshops keep their recipes a guarded secret and many have remained a private family business for generations. Baghlava, Ghotob and Pashmak are the most popular sweets made in the city.

Another health issue facing Yazd is the alarming growth of cancer. The province ranks first in cancer and third in the number of cases of women’s cancer.

Hashemi said if cooperation continues between Yazd and health ministry officials, it can become the first province to experiment with ‘electronic health records’- something that calls for a national observatory team to monitor the program.