Marriages of closely related people should not be allowed, says doctor


A medical doctor at Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHES), Stephen Emilio Njolomole, has advised Malawians not to allow marriages of people who are closely related in order to prevent Sickle Cell Disease (SCD).

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) on Monday, Njolomole said SCD is caused by an abnormal red blood cells gene which causes sickle cell anemia.
He said this is due to close relative marriages (consanguineous marriages).

“Some people may have an abnormal gene and do not show any signs or symptoms of SCD, but when two in this scenario marry, they end up having a child with SCD, hence the advice for Sickle Cell screening in other countries before marriage, but this is not possible in Malawi,” said Njolomole.

He, therefore, stressed the need for early diagnosis of sickle cell in blood transfusions and medicines which boost blood levels to anyone, especially children.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), SCD affects millions of people throughout the world and that approximately 300,000 children are born with SCD worldwide each year.

Reported by Priscilla Ntaba


One Comment

  1. This advice for Sickle Cell screening before marriage should be encouraged here in Malawi because this disease is deadly. Imagine blood being transfused almost each and every hospital admission. With a lot of diseases that are found nowadays it is risky to have frequent transfusions. I had a sister who died in 2007 at the age of 34, her son died in 2020 at the age of 26 and my daughter died last year at the age of 22, all these died because of this deadly disease. I have another sister who is 45 years old. This sister now she is frequenting the hospital for blood transfusion each time she is hospitalized. So I would like to encourage those who intend to marry, that they should go for sickle cell screening before marriage to avoid bearing children with this deadly disease.

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