UAE pre-marriage screening gets good response
Dubai, November 22, 2008
The pre-marriage health screening campaign of the UAE Ministry of Health which was launched in March has received an overwhelming response, with clinics at all MoH healthcare centres reporting 9,398 tests in six months.
The campaign was conducted by the ministry in association with BinSina Pharmacy to raise the awareness among nationals and expatriates in the country on the importance of conducting tests before marriage.
Humaid Mohamed Al Qutami, UAE minster of health said: 'This campaign is inline with the ministry's commitment to work with the private sector to inculcate the concept of preventive treatment through medical tests to detect all types of diseases, especially genetic disorders.'
'We hope this campaign will minimize the social, psychological and economic consequences of genetic diseases that are passed on to children through marriage.'
'Dedicated teams in the ministry conducted educational campaigns to explain the steps to be taken if the test results were positive. Also, some cases were transferred to specialized clinics for further tests and others for follow up treatment, if required,' Al Qutami added.
Also, vaccinations were given for German Measles and Hepatitis during the campaign.
The couples were given the results along with recommendations, and a report was issued to proceed with the marriage contract, if the results were normal. The procedure, however, is not applicable for marriage contracts done outside UAE.
The medical report for marriage candidates is in line with the clause number 27 for 2005 of the Civil Law as per the remarks given by the court presidents in the UAE and the clinic centers for the pre-marriage tests at the UAE Ministry of Health.
Al Qutami said the ministry was keen to send the message that ignoring these tests is dangerous not only to the couples and their children, but also to the society as a whole.
Screening tests cover hereditary diseases and blood disorders as well as diseases that need bacterial and viral screening tests and diseases like hepatitis, AIDS and other life-threatening diseases.
It has been found that Arab societies are more prone to these diseases as they have the tradition of marrying close relatives.
Statistics show that one child out of 25 is affected by hereditary diseases because of genetic disturbance in the first 25 years of his life, including mental retardation or physical handicap.
These diseases can be prevented if these pre-marriage screenings are done. Nine out of the 25 children would die early or would need especial care in hospitals or frequently, he added.
Ahmed Al Khayyat, managing director of Alphamed Group, the parent company of BinSina Pharmacies, said the campaign was a result of close co-operation between the Ministry of Health and private sector corporations that believe in corporate social responsibility.
'The message we are trying to convey is that these simple screenings could help build a disease free marriage.'
Al Khayyat said that the screening was mandatory and not an optional activity for the good of the couples and their children.-TradeArabia News Service