Countless numbers of relationships have been jeopardized and innocent babies born with sickle cell due to wrong genotype test results. Many years ago, the method of genotype testing in Nigeria relied on visually watching the migration of hemoglobin particles on a blotted paper. The results were read when a line moves forward or backwards, or stays same on the blotted paper. This could be wrongly read by an amateur laboratory scientist or the test outcomes may be affected by the amount of blood sample introduced onto the blotted paper.In essence, this wasn’t a very reliable test. 

Science and technology has advanced, hence better and advanced methods are now used in determining genotypes. These tests can differentiate between hemoglobin A & S (and other hemoglobin cells), making it less likely for laboratory scientists to pronounce wrong genotype results. 

In summary, if your test was done over 10 years ago, it is advisable to repeat it at a standard laboratory. Have your partner repeat theirs too in order to make healthy relationship and child birth decisions. 

If you find yourself already pregnant with a sickle cell carrier partner, consult your obstetrician about chorionic villus sampling which can help you determine the genotype of your child before it’s too late.