To lend a voice against the sickle cell disease, a serving Corp member, Christopher Nkemdirim, led awareness campaign which stems from prevailing spread of the disorder as most intending couples do not see the need for genotype tests before proceeding to marriage and as such risk giving birth to children who could unfortunately be carriers of the disease.
He made the called at College of Health Technology Daura, Kastina State which was accompanied with free genotype tests. Nkemdirim said the awareness became a burden to him hence his aligning with the core mandate which the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme was established, which is raising selfless youths who would make impacts in their various communities. He added: “As a Corp member posted to the north, I observed that the rate of individuals with sickle cell disorder is high which many result due to lack of adequate knowledge, because most intending couples do not see the need for genotype test before proceeding for marriage and as such endangering the life of their future kids. So creating awareness on eradicating sickle cell cycle will be a major panacea for curtailing the disease.”
The guest lecturer, Dr. Mashud Gwadabe, in his remarks said that sickle cell disease is inherited, which means it is passed from parent to child and to get sickle cell disease, a child has to inherit two sickle cell genes-one from each parent.
When a child inherits the gene from just one parent, that child has sickle cell trait. Having this trait means that you don’t have the disease but you are a carrier and could pass the gene on to your children.
Also speaking at the event, a laboratory scientist, Mr. Emma Abia urged the students to spread the awareness campaign to their friends and family explaining the need for knowing one’s genotype.
According to Abia, genotype tests should be a prerequisite before accepting a man’s proposal or vice versa.