It ensures that prospective couples are ready to start their life together with full awareness of their partner’s health condition
Premarital screening and counselling is one of the most effective ways to reduce the rate of inherited diseases, a health official has said.
Dr Omar Al Jabri, chief medical officer at Ambulatory Healthcare Services, a SEHA Healthcare Facility, emphasised the importance of premarital screening being offered in cooperation with the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi. The services include screening for infection diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C, genetic diseases such as Beta – thalassaemia and sickle cell anaemia and testing for German Measles (Rubella) and blood grouping.
“Through this service, we want to ensure that prospective couples are ready to start this important phase in their lives with full awareness of their partner’s health condition, especially hereditary conditions that may affect their children in the future. They will also have the opportunity to discuss and address any health concerns either of them may have.”
Dr Shafeeqa Omar, Al Yahar Healthcare Centre manager and family medicine specialist, underlined the service provides prospective couples with the chance to seek counselling regarding any infectious diseases that may affect them and their children.
“We ensure that patients have the highest levels of confidentiality. In the case of abnormal results, the patient’s consent is taken and an appointment is set up with the couple to explain the results, guide them on the next steps, and answer any queries. If the results show a need for further medical care, we facilitate the process for them. Throughout years of providing this service across our healthcare centres, we have seen the positive impact it has had on so many couples who were able to correctly understand the test results and learn about the precautions they need to take to prevent the transmission of disease between them or to their children.”
The service is available in Al Bateen, Al Maqtaa, Baniyas, and Madinat Khalifa Healthcare Centres in Abu Dhabi, and Al Muwaiji, Oud Al Touba, Neima, Al Qua and Al Hayer in Al Ain.