Until recent times when the grave consequences attending total negligence of genotype started taking a worrisome turn; true love, which is considered by all as rare and only God-given, would have been all that is requisite for a couple to walk down the aisle to exchange connubial vows.
Today however, as the fear of bearing a sickler for a child becomes the beginning of wisdom, a million-dollar question that all intending husbands and wives must answer in their decisions about who to marry is:
What takes preference; Love or Genotype?
And it is not alarming that, of late, such a question has, in many cases, started to generate serious confrontations between the head and the heart.
Between Love & Genotype
Taking the fore among the plenitude of arguments in support of love is the fact that, love in its trueness is rare and so is also the search for Mr. or Mrs.
Right, without any qualms, a no mean feat. As such, many people have opined that it would rather be too costly to forgo love, not even in the instance of
genotype incompatibility. Coming at the heels of the afore is also the argument that risk-taking is an integral part of life and life without one of such
risks is simply bland. So if genotype incompatibility is another of such life’s numerous risks, why not?
Recent statistics has it that about 10-30% of Africa’s total population are carriers of the sickle cell trait i.e. HbAS; about 10% are born to suffer the sickle cell anaemia disease i.e. HbSS while about 23% of west Africa’s population, and one in every four Nigerians, are at serious vulnerability to this genetic
What is Sickle Cell Anaemia?
Sickle cell anaemia is a genetic disorder that is peculiar to the black race and as of today, it ranks amongst the topmost challenges of modern medicine
because there is yet no clear-cut remedy for it. It is a problem inherent within the blood system, the biochemical basis and features of which could not be fully expounded within the context of this write-up.
Marriage Between Carriers of Sickle Cell Traits
As an implication, marriage between two carriers of the sickle cell trait (HbAS) could only be described as an irrational plunge into troubles.
According to Mendelian’s principles of inheritance, such couple risk the tendency to produce one sickler in every of four children that they bear. But as the principles of Mendel are based only on probability, likelihood is there that a couple could even have all their children coming as sicklers, irrespective of how many!
Managing Sickle Cell Anaemia
Among the limited management methods available are blood transfusion and, recently, bone marrow transplant in addition to use of drugs such as hydroxyurea, nicosan and adhesion blockers.
However, the fact that the victims of this genetic disorder suffer as a result of the ignorance or selfishness of their parents makes it even more dismal.Anyone who has ever been a witness to the great anguish that a sickler goes through during a period of crisis will definitely not need the eloquence of a preacher before reconsidering taking genotype incompatibility as one of the numerous risks of life.
I’d conclude by saying that love is divine and true love is a blessing, but each man and woman going into wedlock must not entertain sentiment when the issue of genotype comes to the fore. It is desirable to marry the person that one really, truly loves but one must also consider what the future with such a