Centers for pre-marital screening in Jeddah have recommended against 1,855 marriage contracts to be signed for incompatibility between couples.
About 43,454 medical examinations were conducted for applicants for marriage, a local newspaper has reported.
Dr. Mohammad Al-Masri, laboratory and blood bank specialist, said the pre-marital screening centers receive about 250 samples daily from applicants for marriage.
“About 200 samples are processed in the regional laboratory and the remaining 50 samples are addressed at Al-Musadia Maternity Hospital,” he said, adding that these two centers serve Jeddah and the nearby region.
Al-Masri said the Ministry of Health intends to open two more centers in the east and north of the Kingdom to ease the pressure on the existing centers.
“The pre-marital screenings involves detecting genetic and viral diseases. If the results showed some preventions for marriage, such as diseases that might cause deformities among newborns, or handicaps or diseases, the couples are referred to the clinic for further consultations and to explain the hazards involving such marriage,” he said.
He referred to the high rate of marriages between relatives which increases the levels of risk to give birth to handicapped children. “But the majority of couples refrain from this marriage,” he added.
He said there are regulations in place that prevent signing any marriage contract unless the couples show the certificate for pre-marital screening.
Referring to some of the obstacles facing the procedures to conduct the screening he said: “The majority of couples come to conduct the tests only few days before the marriage then demands the center to quickly show the results.”
Al-Masri said the ministry is considering opening another center to the north of Jeddah inside King Abdullah Medical Complex, and another one to the east of the city.
He said the launch of operations in the Central Blood Bank at the regional laboratory will represent a quantum leap in Jeddah at all levels.