Human Genetic Services (Birth Defects) | Western Cape Government

Human Genetic Services (Birth Defects)

It is estimated that 150 000 children born annually in South Africa are affected by a significant birth defect or genetic disorder by the age of five years.

The National Department of Health focuses on 10 conditions, with the most common conditions being:

  • Albinism
  • Downs Syndrome
  • Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
  • Neural tube defects (spina bifida)

The Western Cape also focuses on these conditions (except for albinism, which has a low incidence), with FAS having the highest priority.

The service aims to prevent children from being born with these conditions, by providing timely and appropriate genetic counselling to high-risk individuals and/or couples. These individuals can be identified through the clinics they vist. They will be referred to the specialised genetic services provided via outreach programmes in rural areas, and at tertiary centres in Cape Town.

Anyone who is affected or who has an affected family member, or who is concerned about possible genetic defects, can report to a primary health care clinic. You will be referred from there.
Provided At: These facility categories:
Provided by:
Government Body: (Western Cape Government)
The content on this page was last updated on 5 September 2013