Pre-marital examination as a method of prevention from blood genetic disorders. Community views

Saudi Med J. 2006 Sep;27(9):1291-5.

Abstract

The Saudi Royal Cabinet issued the Saudi Royal Decree No. 3 dated 11-7-1424, establishing the pre-marital examination as a health preventive measure for all Saudis, and requesting the 2 prospective partners (male and female) to carry out a pre-marital examination and present a certificate of pre-marital examination before the wedding. However, the prospective husband and wife are not obliged to abide by the laboratory results if they so wish. This program started officially on the 1st of Muharram, 1425. As a consequence, the community perception and views on the pre-marital examination program as a preventive measure become crucial. Therefore, this study was organized and conducted to reveal the perception of the community regarding the program, through a purpose-made questionnaire that was distributed during symposia and awareness lectures held throughout the Kingdom (Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Al-Khobar, Al-Ahsa, Al-Qassim, and Madinah). The questionnaire covers the opinions of the participants in various aspects related to genetic diseases including nature of diseases, mode of transmission, affecting factors, complications, management, and prevention. In addition, the questionnaire also covers opinions regarding the pre-marital examination as a preventive measure of blood genetic diseases, and its contribution to the control of these diseases. The questionnaire also covers methods in obtaining information, whether from studies, lectures, information media, and awareness lectures. The results revealed that the majority of the participants (94.3%) were convinced that the pre-marital examination is an effective mean of prevention of blood genetic diseases. The majority (86.9%) of the participants were also convinced that the pre-marital examination should be mandatory. These are indications that the community is aware of the pre-marital examination, and the effectiveness of the awareness program is enriching the knowledge of the citizens.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Genetic Counseling*
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / blood
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mandatory Programs
  • Premarital Examinations / methods*
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Social Perception
  • Surveys and Questionnaires