Worried at the alarming rate young people die in the country as a result of sickle cell disease, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ado-Ekiti branch has said it would sponsor a private bill that would make it mandatory for intending couples to go for a compulsory blood test before marriage.
The bill, according to NBA will seek to reduce untimely death among Nigerians, especially the loss of loved ones through sickle cell disease, which has become very rampant in the Ekiti State.
The NBA chairman, Ado Ekiti branch, Barrister Olakanmi Falade, said the bill will be sponsored to the Ekiti State House of Assembly for acceptance and passage.
Falade added that the action was in honour of the late Chairperson of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Mrs. Seyi Ojo, who died of sickle cell complication on December 25, 2019.
According to him, “It is sad that we are losing our loved ones to sickle cell and the best way to control this is to ensure compulsory genotype test for intending couples.
“Science had proved it that two with AS genotype grouping can’t get married without recording cases of sickle cell in their offsprings.
“But with a compulsory blood test, couples can know their genotype groupings and determine the safe ones that can determine a better life for them.
“If the private bill becomes law, I would now be compulsory for couples to produce genotype certificates before their marriages can be conducted”.
Falade also announced his willingness to sponsor a sickle cell carrier in the state, Miss Morayo Kokumo, up to her University level.
Falade who said he was doing this in view of what his late colleague, Seyi Ojo stood for in her lifetime, promised that the NBA will continually give support to sickle cell carriers to ameliorate their sufferings.
The Lawyer described Mrs. Ojo as a notable and vibrant activist, advocate of gender parity, who had fought many battles against Gender-Based Violence in the state during her lifetime.
According to Falade: “Seyi was a very dependable ally, responsible, reliable, a workaholic and tireless leader of the Bar both at the level of NBA and Ekiti FIDA. I made the donation in her honour”, he said.