Parents whose first child was born with a genetic disorder could try in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) to have a healthy second baby, doctors said at a programme on Monday.
IVF will help in the prevention of genetic problems by identifying and isolating the genes of the parents that were responsible for the disorder in their first child.
A programme named Save the Siblings has been envisaged to let parents use the opportunity and have a healthy second child.
The IVF procedure would take the egg from the ovary and fertilise it with sperm in a lab. The fertilised egg will be inserted into the uterus.
Soumyadeep Seal, one of the doctors who advocated the IVF recourse, said that the stem cells of a healthy child can be used to treat disorders in the first child.
Cordlife Sciences India Private Limited, a stem cell bank, has decided to provide Rs 25 lakh for each of the parents under this programme. “This is our corporate social responsibility initiative,” said Seal, medical director of Cordlife.
A doctor with experience in IVF said it was a well-established technique to have a second child through IVF for parents whose first child was born with genetic disorders. The number of parents taking this route was still very limited in India, said the doctor.
Seal said one of the objectives of the Save the Sibling programme was to raise awareness that it was possible to have a healthy second child.
One of the most common genetic disorders is thalassemia, said doctors.
Rajeev Agarwal, a gynaecologist and fertility specialist, said that under the programme, parents would be counselled, their egg and sperm will be fertilised and once the embryo develops they will be tested.