Screening for sickle cell and beta thalassaemia

Interview 05

Female

Brief outline: The couple discovered in pregnancy they were both sickle cell carriers. She felt strongly as a Christian that she did not want any diagnostic tests, and has faith her baby will be healthy.

Background: Former safety engineer, married, first pregnancy. Ethnic background/nationality' Black African.

Audio & video

This mother was screened during pregnancy and learnt she was a sickle cell carrier. As a child in Nigeria she had been told she might be a carrier but the diagnosis seemed uncertain. The family assumed she was not a carrier, particularly as she had frequent bouts of malaria in childhood. Their understanding was that carriers had increased resistance against malaria.

Her husband also went for screening during pregnancy and found he was also a carrier. He went to counselling to find out about the implications, but she decided not to go. As a Christian she knew she did not want any diagnostic testing. Although she respects medical science, she believes firmly that with prayer and faith her baby will be born healthy. 

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