DNA paternity, profiling, banking advocated in Nigeria

September 17, 2012 - 

In Nigeria, men are encouraged to take a DNA paternity test to ensure they are the rightful father of their child and safeguard that information for future use.

Salami Abiodun, senior geneticist at DNA Centre in Ikeja, Lagos, in an interview with BusinessDay, said that approximately three men in 10 live in the deception that he is the father of another man’s child. With a DNA paternity test, any man can find out with certainty if he is indeed the father or not.

Mix-ups are happening in Nigeria hospitals because of the ID tag method or corresponding bracelets used to identify mothers with their babies. However, such method is susceptible to human errors as bracelets get lost or fall off babies, and nurses can misread information. It is inevitable that there are cases with babies in the care of different parents who are raising them thinking they are their own.

In Nigeria, physical attributes of a child are still used to determine the paternity of the child. However, both father and child can look the same but their DNA show they are not related.

Abiodun advocates that Nigerians seriously consider DNA paternity testing, profiling and banking.

He told BusinessDay, “DNA paternity testing uses DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid), the biological basis of inheritance to prove or disprove the biological relationship between a child and an alleged father or other.”

He continued, “We inherit half of our DNA components from our fathers and the other half from our mothers. In a DNA paternity test, samples are taking from the child and the alleged father (and the mother if she is available) using painless buccal swab which is taken to the lab where the DNA is purified and prepared for a battery of at least 16 DNA markers, producing a genetic profile for each tested individual.”

Abiodun also encourages clients to have a sample of their DNA stored in a secure, environmentally-controlled facility or their genetic profile printed out and kept with their lawyers along with their wills.
“When we bank your DNA, you will receive a certification verifying storage of your DNA for 15 years. The certificate also lists persons you authorize to access your sample in the event that it is needed,” he stated.

According to medical experts, DNA banking preserves one’s DNA for a period of 25 years as banked DNA could then be used for genetic testing.

Are you willing to take DNA paternity test or have your DNA stored and banked in some safe facilities for future use?

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About T'ash Spenser

T’ash Spencer writes full time for BiometricUpdate.com. She has 15 years experience in the field of regional planning and earned her Master’s of Science in Regional Development Planning and Management from the University of Dortmund, Germany. Follow her @tashspencer1.