Before the end of 2017, for the first time in Nigeria, you can do DNA tests for N50,000. The laboratory is being set up here by HumGene Ltd, and its promoters (Adewale Fashina and Maryam Ajikobi) are bringing their expertise home.
Speaking to encomium.ng, Canada-based Maryam Ajikobi explained the A-Z of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, which is a ‘molecule that carries the genetic instructions used in the growth, development, functioning and reproduction of all living organisms and viruses’) testing and the other services HumGene Ltd is offering…
When is the DNA service coming to Nigeria?
The DNA service is coming to Nigeria by end of 2017. Plans are underway to provide DNA services that will include both DNA Paternity Testing and genetic testing for hematologic and oncologic disorders like breast, ovarian, prostate and colorectal cancers.
How long does it take to get the result?
Since the testing laboratory will be situated in Nigeria, Paternity Testing results of tests will take no more than a week. The test result turn around will be much faster than what is currently obtainable in the country. At this time, results are obtained up to 10 working days because the samples are being sent over to Canada for analysis. The Genetic Testing results will take up to 20 work days.
How much will it cost?
For Paternity Testing currently analyzed in Canada, cost implication is N80,000.00 only for the alleged father and child, and N60,000.00 only for an extra person. However, once we analyze the test results in Nigeria, we are looking at costs as low as N50,000.00 for the alleged father and child, and N30,000.00 for an extra person. The cost implication for the Genetic Testing is currently at N150,000.00. However, once the analysis is done locally, we are looking at charges as low as N80,000.00 for each analysis.
Q: Who are the promoters of the venture and their pedigree and qualifications?
A: The promoters of the Venture are:
- Adewale Fashina – BSc. Pharmacology; MSc Toxicology – Clinical Pharmacologist,
- Currently a Country Study Manager, North America Operations (US and Canada) for Roche Canada.
- Maryam Atinuke Ajikobi – MSc Human Genetics (McGill University)– Geneticist,
Currently working and a PhD Candidate, Public Health/Epidemiology.
What are the equipment used in DNA test?
There is a broad spectrum of equipment utilized in Genetic Testing. The DNA must first be extracted from the specimen utilizing a set of specialized equipment before the actual sequencing can be performed. But the first things we need are buccal swabs for the paternity testing, and saliva samples collected in sample kits for the genetic testing. Although other specimens, such as blood, hair, etc., can be used, we have chosen to use saliva and buccal swabs as they are much less invasive.
Why is the test desirable?
DNA Paternity testing is important because it allows parents to confirm if they are the biological parents of the child, and it helps in solving legal cases around those issues.
Several researchers peg the non-paternity rate (the percentage of men who think they are the biological father but are not) at 10% worldwide. So, that means 1 in every 10 fathers is not the biological father.
Another interesting statistic is that 29% of the time when a man questioning paternity takes a paternity test, he will find his suspicions confirmed. This means that nearly 3 of every 10 men who have a paternity doubt are not the biological fathers.
Genetic Testing is important because it can be used as a screening test for potential genetic conditions of a newborn baby, for example down syndrome, and it can also be used to check if a person is carrying the gene for debilitating and terminal diseases like cancer, and other inheritable degenerative neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s etc., and metabolic disorders like allergies, diabetes, etc.