Free DNA test­ing in Bu­l­awayo

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Robin Muchetu Se­nior Re­porter

A LO­CAL com­pany, Global DNA Zim­babwe has in­tro­duced free Deoxyri­bonu­cleic (DNA) test­ing to un­der-priv­i­leged mem­bers of the so­ci­ety as a way of en­sur­ing more peo­ple have ac­cess the ser­vice.

DNA test­ing in Zim­babwe is ex­pen­sive with the cheap­est be­ing of­fered at the Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of Science and Tech­nol­ogy clinic in Bu­l­awayo for $100. Most pri­vate health cen­tres charge from $300, an amount most peo­ple can not eas­ily af­ford.

Global DNA Zim­babwe prin­ci­pal con­sul­tant Mr Ti­nashe Mu­gabe said his com­pany which opened a branch in Bu­l­awayo early this year, was of­fer­ing the free ser­vice upon vet­ting if the peo­ple seek­ing the ser­vices are poor. The nor­mal charge at the in­sti­tu­tion is $350.

“Our ser­vices should be avail­able for ev­ery­body with and with­out money. We also be­lieve the un­der­priv­i­leged peo­ple in the so­ci­ety must also ben­e­fit and ful­fil their de­sires in seek­ing the truths about parent­age and also help­ing them dis­cover their blood rel­a­tives and have peace of mind,” he said.

Mr Mu­gabe said those who do not have the re­quired fees for the tests are in­ter­viewed on ra­dio where their case is heard and when they are sat­is­fied they are of­fered the tests for free.

“We pos­i­tively im­pact our clients ev­ery day, and even go one step be­yond by do­nat­ing our ser­vices to many cou­ples, hav­ing parent­age dis­putes through a spon­sored Star FM pro­gramme un­der the Tilda live show on Tues­days at 10pm,” he said.

Mr Mu­gabe said since they opened doors in Bu­l­awayo, there has been a huge re­sponse from lo­cals seek­ing DNA test­ing.

“There are many le­gal cases that were be­ing re­ferred to Harare from Bu­l­awayo that we han­dled and peo­ple needed clar­ity on pa­ter­nity. Armed with this we de­cided to bring ser­vices to the peo­ple of Bu­l­awayo rather than hav­ing them travel to Harare,” he said.

Mr Mu­gabe said peo­ple who visit their place are ei­ther re­ferred from the courts or come on their own.

“Peo­ple some­times just want clo­sure over is­sues of pa­ter­nity and they come to us and we of­fer Peace of Mind DNA tests, while some ac­tu­ally come via the jus­tice sys­tem and we as­sist them,” he said.

Global DNA Zim­babwe was founded by Mr Mu­gabe, Dr Enock Sit­hole and Mr Trust Maanda on the be­lief that tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments in DNA test­ing should trans­late into ser­vices that are ac­ces­si­ble and af­ford­able to ev­ery­one.

“We pro­vide com­pre­hen­sive DNA test­ing ser­vices in four ar­eas: pa­ter­nity and fam­ily re­la­tion­ships; lifestyle test­ing in­clud­ing an­ces­try, health and well­ness, vet­eri­nary, and foren­sics test­ing,” said Mr Mu­gabe.

Mr Mu­gabe said for the DNA to take place sam­ples (pa­ter­nity cheek swab sam­ples) are in­de­pen­dently tested two times.

Mr Ti­nashe Mu­gabe


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