A dangerous union: Children of destiny
Organisation: The Express Tribune (Pakistan)
Publication Date: 03/27/2016
DescriptionMy project was about drawbacks of first-cousins marriages in Pakistan. Although, medical experts have continually stressed on the inherent dangers of intermarriages, claiming it increases the risk of birth defects, club feet, metabolic disorders, thalassemia, and other health complications, but in Pakistan, family marriages take place which put the lives and health of upcoming generations at risk. According to findings of the Demographic and Health Survey 2012-13 conducted under the authority of the Ministry of National Health Services, 50% of all marriages in Pakistan are between cousins. However, a study conducted by Dr Muhammad Aslam Khan, founding head of the Human Genetics & Molecular Biology Department at University of Health Sciences, Lahore in 2014, stated nearly 82.5% of parents in Pakistan are blood-relatives of first, second or third generations. Of these, 6.3% hail from the same extended families of castes while 6.8% are immediate cousins. Only about 4.4% of couples in Pakistan are not somehow related to each other. My project addressed the adverse effects of families marriages and it helped in raising awareness among general public about hazardous impacts of intermarriages for the next generations. It was for general public.
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