Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
Plans are underway to compel traditional and religious leaders as well as parents to ask for genotype screening result before joining intending couples as husband and wife in Gombe State.
This was contained in a motion passed by the state House of Assembly last Wednesday. According to the motion, which was passed as a policy of the government, individuals set to be wedded will have to provide results of genotype screening, just like that of HIV/AIDS which is now a norm for every wedding in the state.
Alhaji Muhammad Bello, member representing Gombe South at the lawmaking house, who presented the motion, told Daily Sun, in an interview, that until the pronouncement by the house, couples were only required to present results from HIV/AIDs test before their wedding, not minding the genotype screening result which seems to be more hazardous than HIV.
“My attention was drawn to the issue by two of our scholars in Gombe, who told me the implications of not including the screening as part of the requirement for marriage. I then studied their plea and realised that having one sickle cell patient in a family can jeopardise the wellbeing of the family. I once lived with a neighbour whose son was a sickle cell patient, I can recollect what they went through caring for the kid then. And such phenomenon may, perhaps, be prevented,” the lawmaker said.
However, the policy will be to advice the intending couples on ills of not going for screening and adhering to the professional cou.sel given after the screening.