KAMPALA, UGANDA: Police have warned the public over the rampant urge to carry out DNA tests to affirm the parentage status of children saying some results could be fake and doctored by inauthentic lab testing centres.
The development comes amidst an outcry from parents, mostly men who have resorted to carrying out DNA tests after several fell victim to fathering children who are not theirs biologically.
In his weekly press briefing in Kampala, police spokesperson, SCP Fred Enanga said the urge to carry out DNA tests has led to mushrooming of several testing facilities including hospitals, clinics and medical centres, many of which are unlicenced to carry out these services.
“We are seeing a number of DNA testing centres coming up with every medical centre showing they have the ability to carry out the tests. DNA testing centres have to be certified and transparent with the information they give to clients. Families ought to be careful with the facilities where they do DNA tests,” Enanga said at the police headquarters in Naguru.
He added; “We have gotten intelligence that there are some people who are carrying home DNA kits for self-testing. These tests (carried out at home) can be subject to contamination and can easily affect the results.”
The police spokesperson said many people have been left crestfallen whereas others have committed suicide and families broken up due to negative DNA results.
“The outcome of the DNA might be determined by the way you carry out the test. The test could be subject to contamination and easily affect the result of the DNA depending on how you carry out the test. It is important that testing is carried out at a certified facility because these have strict standards for testing and accuracy,” Enanga warned.
He further asked women with evidence to dispute DNA paternity tests to reach out to the nearest police stations and file complaints.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs recently noted that there has been a sudden shoot-up in the number of people seeking DNA services.
“Many people come to our ministry headquarters asking for DNA testing services. The number has quite increased by 70% and last week alone, we received over 50 people looking for services of DNA at the ministry,” Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson, Simon Mundeyi said last month.
Whereas it is expensive, many of those having doubts about the paternity of their children take the risk of carrying out DNA tests. Experts recently warned that fake DNA results can come due to malpractice by medical workers.