Overview By Dr Kemi Owonibi Dele-Ijagbulu
Genotype, simply put is the genetic composition of an individual. It is what makes you you at the genetic level, eg – your gender, complexion, eye color, hair color etc. So, under natural conditions, IT DOESN’T CHANGE.
The genotype we are often so concerned about especially in Nigeria is actually THE HEMOGLOBIN GENOTYPE.
Due to the arrangement of the hemoglobin in your blood, there could be combination leading to hemoglobin genotypes such as AA, AS, SS, AC, SC, even others hemoglobinopathies such as S-Thalassemia.
I also noticed that many people get the calculations wrong.
AS+AS = AA, AS, AS, SS PER PREGNANCY.
Some people tend to assume that out of 4 children, one would be SS. WRONG. In EACH PREGNANCY, you stand a 25% chance of having a SS child, 50% chance of having a carrier child AS, and 25% chance of having AA child.
Now, 25% SS is quite high.
And third, several studies have shown that Nigeria has the highest burden of children born with SS genotype globally!! (Not surprising that the oldest SS person is Nigerian)
So, Sickle Cell Disease is very Nigerian, hence we must take leadership and visible position in fighting against the disease, both in terms of prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and eradication.
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By Dr Kemi Owonibi Dele-Ijagbulu