The House of Representatives has okayed compulsory genotype tests for intending couples as part of measures to prevent sickle cell disease, according to a report by PUNCH.
The House charged government registries, churches and mosques to demand the tests before joining persons as husband and wife.
This is part of the resolutions passed by the lawmakers at the plenary on Thursday when they unanimously adopted a motion moved by Mr Umar Sarki titled ‘Call on the Federal Ministry of Health to develop an efficient system for management of sickle cell disease in Nigeria’.
Adopting the motion, the House called on the Federal Ministry of Health to introduce free and compulsory new-born screening programme, which will include screening for sickle cell disease in all hospitals in Nigeria.
The House also called on the ministry to provide free treatment and counselling service to patients with sickle cell disease, while asking it to “sensitize religious institutions and the judiciary to include results of genotype tests as one of the conditions for marriage”.
They also urged the Federal Ministry of Education to include sickle cell education in science subjects in all primary and secondary schools, while mandating the House committees on Health Care Services, Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, and Basic Education and Services to ensure implementation of the resolutions.