An advocate against sickle anemia, Josephine Osondu has warned people in relationship of the need to check their blood group before making the final commitment.
Osondu who expressed worries over the rate at which couples produce babies with sickle cell anemia despite the level of media awareness on the dangers sickle cell carrier would be exposed to in life also took a swipe on some laboratory operators for issuing wrong lab results to unsuspecting members of the public.
According to a post on her facebook wall, the female advocate who is also living with sickle cell anemia shared an experience (with the heading, Lab Doctors And Their Equipment) she had with some lab operators in Umuahia, the Abia State capital when she went for rounds of tests in various Diagnostic Center that came with different results.
“The lab doctors with their nonchalant attitude, carelessness and laziness to their job are more reasons why families still give birth to sickle cell anemia kids/children, by giving wrong results to their patients.
“E.g. giving someone AA results when the person is AS and this couple gets married AS not knowing that they are not compatible. There are thousands of persons out there that will tell you how their first result is AA and when they went for another test year later is AS.
“I was a victim of this, when I did my genotype test years ago in a private lab I was given AS and I was shocked and the doctor asked me why I was surprise I said my genotype is SS or has it changed, he said genotype don’t change that no wonder he was having issues doing it, he collected the result and re-wrote without even examining it again and I refused to collect and went to a federal lab and I was given AA, I went to a private hospital lab where I go for my medication then and they gave me SS I had three different results within 1week I tore all the results and moved on. I know so many persons who been victim of this.
“Unprofessional and lack of medical improvement on our Nigeria lab doctors, there are six (6) types of genotype AA, AS, CC, AC, SC, SC. Nigeria doctors can only give you AA, AS, SS, am yet to see or hear people who were given other types of genotype.
“There are lab equipments which can be used to detect babies with SS genotype at 10 months through their placenta. We can’t get such in Nigeria laboratory.
Under sickle cell anemia there are four types:
1) hemoglobin SS
2) hemoglobin SC
3) sickle betaplus thalassemia
4) sickle betazero thalassemia
“All of this genotype have different effects no
people. (Will talk more on this later).
But Nigeria lab doctors only give SS genotype. So you can see that they contribute greatly to the birth of Sickle cell anemia till date.
I don’t know the permanent solution to this but I can give a temporal solutions people should do their test result in at least three (3) different laboratories before conclusion.”
Sharing her experience of how she has been able to stayed alive till date, Osondu said “When I say, I am a survivor is not a survivor that just keeps the do’s and don’ts of sickle cell anemia, I live my normal life.
“People say those that are SS are weak, I gym to keep fit, I break every law of Sickle cell anemia and still live without crisis, taking drugs and going to the hospital for more than a decade.
“I have decided to create a group online where I tell how I got to this level in my life and encourage those who want to. In this group I have my team that will work with me in saving lives.
I have a pastor
I have doctors
I have a nutritionist
And a lawyer who will help me in creating awareness and legal advice
And me to tell how I overcame.
“I asked for causes and solutions to curb the continuous birth of SS and really not gotten any so many are just asking me how SS can stay healthy. How can I go into that when we can’t get solutions to stop its breed?
“I have some points which am going to write on, but before then I want to acknowledge and appreciate those who fought this fight with me, medically, physically, financially, spiritually and mentally in a descending order.
“My old girls; my seniors, my set and my juniors in girls secondary school Umuahia (Holy Rosary) for being there for me, for the late night you had to stay and most risk of taking home late nights when the crisis persists and special thanks to the school Secretary Mrs. comfort
“To my Doctor, Dr. Jideofor Okeke, you are one of the best doctors that can treat SS, I wish You are here on facebook.
A big thanks to my cousin Dr. Prince U John in fact You were my best source of courage and the person who knows and give very good advice on SS, even when i call at anytime time you responded and always have solution at anytime. In fact I will advice who ever has I kid who has SS to seek for your medical advice. I love You so much brother and God bless You.
“Finally to my pastor, pastor Chika Alex Umeh and wife pastor Peace Chika Alex Christ embassy Umuahia, I can say all that you did pastor, pastor ma thank you for standing in faith with me and believing in me, you came into my life when my parents have given up on me and you saw a future in me, thank you pastor my words thank you enough. I love You so much and am indebted in you.
“I believe everyone is surprise why i didn’t acknowledge my parents, now i blame them for the misfortune but not much cos in their days they have no idea of it. So I wonder what kids of today will do to their parents knowing they would have avoided this.
“And the all glory goes to God who made everything possible in his infinite mercy. Thank you lord for divine health!! I can’t stop thanking you for what you did in my life
Blaming selfishness, ignorance, culture, There are so many things that can cause this, the solutions is the problem and I pray we can all work together to fight it.
3) African tradition
4) the lab doctors and their equipments
I will explain these one after the other.
When couples are in love and want to marry and find out that their genotype are not compatible especially those that have dated for a long time, they will refuse to end the relationship because the feel they have come a long way and won’t want to start another relationship afresh, end up getting married not considering what the outcome will be.
Some getting married cos they feel they running out of time (age) will end up getting married not considering their genotype and outcome, someone ladies lie about their genotype just to get married, I have heard a story of a lady asking the lab doctor to fake her test results so that her intended husband work leave her cos she feels she is out of age
Some using faith to deceive themselves by believing God works in mysterious ways and therefore if we get married our children will not be SS, i have seen a couple like this, now why use another person’s life for faith, as a Christian when putting faith to work you use yourself, not putting faith to work on another person life, you can only stand in faith with someone. So endangering an unborn child’s life is not faith but selfishness.
Now for those who marry cos of love or because they are getting old, will you still see that love when you have kids that makes you spend a lot of money on medication, gives you sleeplessness night and make you run around and after the effort they die? At this point where is the love? You that want to get married will not enjoy the marriage, you cry every now and then when you see your children/ kids in pain.
“I suggest that before you go into relationship or marriage
1) Find out the genotype of the person, genotype should be the one done in the hospital or lab not school mass results which is very misleading.
2) The church should not wed or join together any couple who are not compatible, the church should have a lab doctor who does the test for them and bring the result to the church not to the couples, cos they can manipulate the result and they turn down the marriage if they are not compatible even if they threatened to leave the church, as ministers don’t be part of torture and murder of the kids.
3) the court, they should also not award a marriage certificate to couples that are not compatible, they should also have lab doctors that run the test for them and give them the test result not to the couples
4) The government, the government should put measures to curb the birth of SS by putting sanctions on churches and courts who award marriage certificate to incompatible couples. Someone will say what the business of the government in this is. With my little analysis below of illustration 1 you see that if we keep having SS in the nearest future 60% of people will find it difficult to get matching suitors and if the insist on marrying themselves like that there will be high level SSD in Nigeria.
“This might affect the economy on working age rate,
birth rate and death rate. It can also affect you as an individual, when the
number of AS out numbers the number of AA you find it difficult getting married
or your children find it difficult getting married. In today statistics 20% of
people are finding it difficult to get married due to genotype compatibility
let alone what will happen in the nearest future.
“If we are able to fight it now and curb it as shown in illustration 2 you find out our future children won’t have problem find the march and marrying who they want and love.
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With the little explanation on this i hope we can see reasons to fight this as an individual, a society and a government. I will love it if we can push this to take effect.”