Cousin marriages are customary in few parts of the world. This trend should be discouraged as it has detrimental effects on the future generation. This established cultural tradition of marriage within families increases the risk of children being born with birth defects which ultimately leads to a rise in the death rates in such communities.
Every human receives one copy of each gene from their parent. If both the parents are linked, they might have a similar variant of that gene (allele). In cases where the gene codes for a disease process and both the parents have the same gene, the child is bound to get the disease.
Children from cousin marriages undergo numerous problems. They are more prone to various issues which include congenital malformations, blindness and deafness, learning difficulties, cognitive impairment, cardiovascular disease, asthma, Down’s syndrome, metabolic disorders, cystic fibrosis, thalassemia, blood ailments, various cancers and many other such complications which may also include some incurable and complex disorders.
Cousin marriages is a sensitive issue as it has been a tradition since ages. While people associate benefits such as social and marital stability with it, this custom can come at a high price. It is essential that people understand the gravity of this situation and take steps to prevent this. Parents who are related should get tested to check if their genes carry any mutations that their child may inherit so they can prevent their children from undergoing severe disabilities or early death.
It is the duty of every citizen to promote a healthy society. It is our responsibility to make ourselves aware and to work for a better and healthier future for our offspring and the community at large.
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