What is the GENEius Programme all about?
1 in 5 Ashkenazi Jews is a carrier of a recessive Jewish Genetic Disorder (JGD). These severely disabling, life shortening disorders are completely preventable through carrier screening. In many Jewish communities around the world, JGD education and screening is standard practise- saving families from the unimaginable pain and heartache of having an affected child. Yet here in the UK we are far behind. Until now we have had no such comprehensive programme and every year we see the tragic consequences.
The GENEius programme intends to change that- starting here, starting now . Like its international equivalents, it is an education and screening initiative directed at young Jewish adults, with the long term aim that screening for severe recessive JGDs will become a routine and important part of life for all young Jewish adults.
The programme captures it's target audience in three main groups; sixth form students, university students, and engaged couples going through the synagogue pre-marriage process. It is comprised of two key elements - education and screening. With education, it informs young Jewish adults about the significance of JGDs and the value of carrier screening, while with screening it provides them with an affordable and responsible way to identify whether or not they are carriers of a severe recessive JGD.