A group of researchers are working towards preventing more births through the use of genotype testing method.
The team known as the Albinism Genetic Study Group (AGSG) from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) are currently working on the new system which will remodel the genotype grouping processes used for capturing sickle cell anaemia for the gene mutation study on albinism.
The new testing method when completed will stymie the rise in albino births through furnishing potential parents with their albinism statuses.
Dr Olusola Ayanlowo, the team head and Consultant Dermatologist at LUTH during a recent event organised by the Onome Akinlolu Majaro Foundation (OAM Foundation) to educate as well as distribute corrective eye-glasses to over fifty-five albino patients at LUTH, told Nigerian Tribune that the research was premised on the study that albino births were hereditary and only probable in couples with same abnormal gene coding.
Ayanlowo revealed that a parent with inherited albino gene could not cause a gene mutation during conception resulting in an albino birth except both parents have similar gene setting.
Thus, information about person’s albinism status may go a long way in helping to decide who they marry and by extension prevent the birth of albino children.
Speaking Ayanlowo said, “Albinism is hereditary. Individuals who have a history of albino births in their family line carry the gene passing it from generation to generation”.
She also said that “for a child to be born with albinism, both parents must have a history of gene mutation running in their families. The father and the mother would have to donate the right amount of chromosomes with similar gene configuration.
“This is why with the system we are developing we will be able to identify individuals who already have this gene mutation and prevent them from marrying spouses with the same gene configuration. This way we can prevent the birth of albinos.”