Sickle Cell Anemia: Court Ends Marriage For blood Incompatibility

by Samuel Abasi Posted on September 11th, 2017

Ibadan, Nigeria. Sept 11th:  The President of Mapo Customary Court in Ibadan, Mr Ademola Odunade, on Monday granted the petition of divorce by Mariam Afolabi against her husband Ahmed Afolabi on the grounds that her genotype did not correspond with that of her husband. She asked the court to dissolve the four-year-old marriage due to blood incompatibility.

Judge Ademola Odunade also advised intending husbands and wives to be well conversant with each other’s genotype before eventually settling down for marriage:

“Therefore, in the interest of peace and order, the court has put an end to the union between Mariam and Ahmed. Mariam is granted the custody of the four-year-old child produced by the union. Ahmed shall pay a monthly-feeding allowance of N5,000 to Mariam for the upkeep of the child in addition to being responsible for her education and other welfare,”

In her petition, Mariam Afolabi who resides at Iyana-Lodge Street, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, told the court that her genotype did not correspond with that of her husband.

“After I had settled down into the marriage with Ahmed, I realized that both of us were sharing a similar genotype “which is “AS’’, a situation that had made it difficult for us to produce healthy children. According to advice by our medical doctor, if both of us continue in the relationship, we might be producing children with Sickle Cell Disease. Already, the only child we have has started manifesting signs of a sickle-cell patient.’’

She also accused Ahmed of not fending for the child and her, adding that starvation had become the order of the day for them.

“Similarly, he does nothing about our material needs in addition to constantly quarrelling with me. Without wasting the time of this court, I don’t have feelings for Ahmed any longer, please, separate us,” Mariam said.

However, Ahmed who resides at Alegun-Fatosi Area of Ibadan, did not oppose the suit filed by the petitioner and was equally silent on all the allegations levelled against him. The respondent said Mariam was a wayward wife, who was unfaithful to him.

“Mariam is my second wife and I rented a room apartment for her. But she was sleeping around in her friends’ apartments where different men kept having saxual intercourse with her. In fact, I caught her on several occasions in one of her friends’ apartments,” Ahmed said.

Recall that the Governor of Nigeria’s Anambra State has been in the news for making blood test before marriage compulsory in Nigeria’s Anambra State.

Governor Willie Obiano Makes Test for Sickle Cell Disease Compulsory for Couples before Marriage in Anambra State

Governor Willie Obiano has said in Awka, Anambra state that intending couples in Anambra must screen for sickle cell disease before getting married, failure to do so, will deny them certain privileges from the state government like employment and other empowerment opportunities.

This measure according to the Governor is geared towards eradicating Sickle Cell disease in the state. Intending couples must make sure to know their genotypes and be sure it’s compatible for marriage before going ahead to get married. In Igbo land, a child or person with SS genotype or suffering from Sickle Cell Disease is stereotyped and called “Ogbanje” or a witch

Compatible genotypes for marriage in Anambra State are:

AA marries an AA. That’s the best compatible. That way you save your future children from having to worry about genotype compatibility in future.

AA marries an AS. You’ll end up with kids with AA and AS which is good. But sometimes if you’re not lucky all the kids will be AS

AS and AS should not marry.

AS and SS shouldn’t think of marrying.

And definitely SS and SS must not marry since there’s absolutely no chance of escaping having a child with the sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell anemia

According to the  National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institute Of Health, NIH, Sickle cell anemia is a disease in which your body produces abnormally shaped red blood cells. The cells are shaped like a crescent or sickle. They don’t last as long as normal, round red blood cells. This leads to anemia. The sickle cells also get stuck in blood vessels, blocking blood flow. This can cause pain and organ damage.

A genetic problem causes sickle cell anemia. People with the disease are born with two sickle cell genes, one from each parent. If you only have one sickle cell gene, it’s called sickle cell trait. About 1 in 12 African Americans has sickle cell trait.

Photo: A public awareness rally about Sickle Cell Anemia In Nigeria

The most common symptoms are pain and problems from anemia. Anemia can make you feel tired or weak. In addition, you might have shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, or coldness in the hands and feet.

A blood test can show if you have the trait or anemia. Most states test newborn babies as part of their newborn screening programs.

Sickle cell anemia has no widely available cure. Treatments can help relieve symptoms and lessen complications. Researchers are investigating new treatments such as blood and marrow stem cell transplants, gene therapy, and new medicines.

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