By: Ibraheem Olasunkanmi Qoseem
The wonders and life transformational breakthroughs emanating from science are thought-provoking, regardless of how controversial they are, we just cannot ignore their obvious facts. Their unique prints on health, education, technology and other human endeavors can never be underestimated.
Like many other interventions of science, genotype identification is a unique turning point that addresses the prevalent of sickle cell disease and child mortality rate. Human genotype is an individual specific features that are transferable from parents to offspring.
Base on the precinct of this context, these features are categorized as good, fair and bad genotype. The good one is AA, the fair ones are AS, AC, while the bad ones are SS, SC. Anyone with AA genotype are the most healthy one, while AS and AC are called carrier, they are called because they carry abnormal gene with them but they may not present any complications although they can transfer it to their offspring.
Moreover, the SC and SS are the bad genes that society stigmatizes as Sickler. They are tagged as Sicklers because they perpetually come down with various kind of illnesses that can be very severe and depressing. If we have them as friend or sibling, we will understand better.
However, scientifically, anyone with AA genotype can marry any of the genotype combination. Anyone with AS genotype needs to be selective of whom to marry, the compatible partner for this person is AA while fair one is AS or AC but they will risk the consequence of giving birth to SS child/ren, they should not even try marrying the bad ones(SS and SC).
Furthermore, both SS and SC highly need to be partner selective as the only one best for them is AA. Although, this is not a new topic, it has been argued overtime and even been nexused to religion but what is incontrovertible here is that, sickler children exist and they are not in anyway link to a healthy (AA)genotype.
Obviously, love can be very intoxicating but before you reconcile this to faith, think of the looming consequences and if you insist on going on with your incompatible partner, do yourself a favor in preparation of the following, if by chance you have a sickle cell child:
Psychological implications on both parents and child; development of crisis from her early life(5th-month); perpetual hospital visit atleast once in a month; financial implications of hospitalizations, drugs procurement, blood buying; risking of transmission transmissible infection as a result of frequent blood transfusion and what have you!
I believe an healthy child equate to peaceful home. I am sure you will not love watching your kid dying or making him holding grudges against you for being the source of his perils. Ask those experiencing that, they have a long list of sobering moments to reflect you with.
Unfortunately, it is not a disease with cure but can be less managed through adequate pain control, prophylactic antibiotics, blood transfusion for relevance complications and maintenance of healthy fluid and food intake. While bone marrow transplant as the nearly life saving treatment although come with high financial burden, and cancer and infertility as side effects.
According to available data by WHO, over 300,000 babies are born with Sickle Cell Disease every year.
70% of these population are found in Africa.
While 60% are found in Nigeria with an estimate of 150, 000 of annual births.
This data is an indication that Nigeria is an epicenter for sickle cell diseases. Your part to play to reduce this staggering numbers is to be generically compatible with your partner. Atleast do the test twice in two different facilities to get it right.
In conclusion, the realities associated with implication of the disease on both child and parents and the expensive treatments are enough as inspiration to sacrifice love, to be advocate, counselor and accidental parents for the victims.
To the victim of the sickle cell diseases, you are not alone, we share your pains and pray for your healing.
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