By Our Staff

LAGOS, HOUSEHOLD ON THE ROCK, 2 January 2011. It was the first Sunday of the year and the Household  OnThe
Rocks, shepherded by Pastor Paul Adefarasin was packed full. It was testimony time. After a few testimonies had been
given, Rosa Ogunbor, 29 (not her real name) stepped forward to relate the amazing hand
of God on her own life. Brandishing a piece of lab paper on which was written her new blood genotype, she told the
astounded gathering that God had changed her genotype from being with sickle cell to AA!
Shouts of ‘Halleluiah! Praise The Lord’! rent the air.
‘I have been praying and fasting for this miracle for quite some time,’ Ogunbor says, ‘and last December, God
answered me.’
A medical doctor, a member of the church who witnessed the startling testimony approvingly informed
Sickle Cell
of the incredible outcome of faith, the visible and direct hand of God in human affairs. Together with the doctor,
now donning the empirical robe of science, we investigated the matter further. We needed to probe and
verify Ogunbor’s claims, scrutinize her lab results before and after. To be sure, her most recent lab results, the one she
waved in church, said that her blood genotype was AA.
On inviting Ogunbor for an interview, the first thing we discovered was that she was not with sickle cell, but only carried
the trait! A graduate, she erroneously believed that her proneness to joint pains and predisposition to illness qualified
her as a ‘sickler’. Her genotype before divine intervention, she said, was AC, and that C meant that she was having
sickle cell; now God had changed it to AA.
If true and provable, a change of genotype from AC to AA is no less miraculous, no less divine. So we proceeded. A
little disappointed, but no less excited, with our enquiry.
With the petite young lady’s permission, the doctor took blood samples, which he sent to a competent laboratory for
electrophoresis. The results came, showing that Ogunbor’s genotype remained AC! Other laboratories also confirmed
AC. The whole church had been made to believe God had intervened again in the affairs of man and the news had
spread. Ogunbor had gone on radio and television, proclaiming the same. There was no going back to say it was all a
huge mistake and a hell of a joke!

*not her real name

Reports abound of people being led to false conclusions by incorrect laboratory reports on the one hand, and religious
faith on the other. During two recent sickle cell events in Ogun State of Nigeria, renowned haematologist Professor Olu
Akinyanju cited the case of a young adult with sickle cell who stopped taking his medication on the conviction that God
had cured him. He died after complications set in. To demonstrate that it was not only uneducated people who would
believe anything, Professor Akinyanju  told of a couple, the husband an engineer, the wife a lawyer, whom a pastor
talked into a similar line of action. During a so-called deliverance and healing service, Akinyanju said, the pastor
(name withheld) delivered the message that God had cured the woman of her HIV. There was no need, the pastor
commanded, for the woman to continue taking her medications. That was tantamount to doubt, he said. Sheepishly,
with the husband’s acquiescence, she hauled her entire prescription of ARVs into the refuse bin.