The Global Midwife with Sarah Nkansah BOATENG: Before I do,Know his/her genotype


A couple approached me sometime last week at the ward. Pained and in distress over their child’s ill health (7years old). Apparently the girl child has been falling ill almost every week. Same condition, no improvement. Joint pain, swelling of hands and feet, fever and loss of weight. I thought, “This is too heavy for a young child to bear”.

The signs drew my attention to ask of the genotype of the parents. Guess what? They were both AS!! I wondered if they were not aware of this before marriage. I probed and apparently they were but were so much in love to call it quit. Can you imagine? That’s selfish in my opinion.

Love is a very beautiful adventure. It’s easy to get swept away by the whirlwind of emotions, the butterflies in our stomachs, and the intoxicating feeling of finding that special someone. In the midst of this whirlwind, it’s understandable that we often overlook the most crucial questions that should be addressed before taking the plunge into marriage.

One such critical piece of information that is far too often overlooked is the genotype of our potential partner. While love may be a beautiful and powerful force, it’s important to remember that it’s not the only element that should guide our decision-making when it comes to lifelong commitments.

You see, the genotype of our partner can have profound implications for the health and well-being of our future children. Certain genotypes can increase the risk of genetic disorders, developmental challenges, and a host of other issues that can impact the lives of our offspring. And as parents, it’s our responsibility to ensure that we are giving our children the best possible start in life.

Too often, we allow our hearts to lead the way, blindly assuming that love will conquer all. But the reality is, it takes more than love to make a truly informed and responsible decision about who to settle down with. We owe it to ourselves, our partners, and our future children to approach this decision with the utmost care and consideration.

By prioritizing the investigation of our partner’s genotype, we take a proactive step towards ensuring the health and well-being of our families. And in the long term saving us from unexpected financial burden. The repercussions of overlooking this crucial detail can be intense and needless – something no parent should ever have to face.

So, I implore you, to make it a priority to know the genotype of your partner before moving forward. It’s not a conversation that’s always easy, but it’s one that can have intense implications for the generations to come.

Give your unborn children the peace and good health they deserve – don’t subject them to a pain they didn’t subscribe for. That would be the ultimate act of selfishness.

In conclusion, it’s crucial to know your partner’s genotype before getting married or starting a family. Compatibility is key to avoid passing on sickle cell disease or other genetic disorders to your children. Have an open and honest conversation with your partner about your genotypes – it’s a small but important step that can make a big difference in your future. With this knowledge, you can make informed decisions and plan for a healthy, happy life together. Don’t wait, take charge of your family’s wellbeing today.

Sarah is a midwife by profession and an advocate for reproductive, maternal and child and menstrual health and hygiene and founder of  Nkansahs Foundation—a non-profit dedicated to achieving SDG 3. With six years of impactful work in the NGO space,

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