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FACT CHECK: No, health minister didn’t say there will be free DNA tests in government hospitals

Osagir Ehanire Osagir Ehanire

The social media has been awash with several posts claiming the Nigerian minister of health said DNA tests will be done for free in every government hospital from June. 

DNA testing, also known as genetic testing, is done to determine whether someone is the biological parent of an individual. This type of testing is particularly important when a child’s paternity or maternity is in doubt.

The claim has been widely circulated on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. Many Nigerian social media users have also expressed different reactions to the posts.

“DNA test will be free in every government hospital from June 2022 – Minister of Health,” the viral post read.

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HOW IT STARTED

Checks by TheCable showed that one of the earliest mentions of the statement was a post made by a South African Twitter user @danielmarven on Monday.

https://twitter.com/danielmarven/status/1485529467409813505?s=21

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The user wrote: “DNA tests will b conducted freely @ Government hospital n clinics as from June 2022..Ayeye!!!!!!”

The post has garnered over 2,500 likes and more than 500 retweets — some by Nigerians.

Another South African user, @Mosky_Mothapo, made a similar post a few minutes after. The post has generated over 9,000 likes and more than 3,000 retweets.

Some hours later, other social media users in Nigeria began to circulate the post, claiming it was made by the country’s minister of health.

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A post made by a Nigerian Twitter user @Ekwulu now has more than 2,000 likes and 1,000 retweets.

HOW TRUE IS THIS STATEMENT? 

Nigeria has two health ministers, Osagie Ehanire and Olorunibe Mamora.

When TheCable contacted Mamora, minister of state for health, he said such a statement did not emerge from him, Ehanire or the ministry. 

A review of the ministry’s social media pages and website shows there are no videos or statements issued to back up the claim. Most of the posts did not state when or where the statement was made.

Also, no credible news platform in the country has published such a statement credited to the health minister.

VERDICT

The claim that the health minister said there will be free DNA tests in government hospitals from June is false.



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