Mixed feelings as new Kano mandatory premarital law comes into force

Mixed feelings as new Kano mandatory premarital law comes into force

Following the signing of the new Kano Mandatory Premarital Law, it is now obligatory for intending couples in Kano to undergo premarital medical screening before marriage, Daily Trust Saturday reports.

According to the new law, no wedding would be permitted in Kano State without the presentation of a health screening certificate for genotype, hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, and other related conditions.

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf, while signing the law in Kano,  called for its faithful implementation in order to uphold the sanctity of marriages in Kano State and ensure the birth of healthy offspring, free from any preventable illnesses.

The law is meant to reduce the likelihood of children being born with underlying health issues such as sickle cell anemia, HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis.

This initiative aligns with the Kano State governor’s commitment to enhancing and providing a conducive environment for the healthcare sector, aiming to make Kano free from or significantly reduce health challenges.

It also prohibits any discrimination or stigmatisation against individuals living with HIV/AIDS, sickle cell anemia, hepatitis, and related conditions.

The law prohibits the formalisation of any marriage contract for individuals planning to marry without presenting a test certificate from a government-approved health facility.

Also, the law specifies that any individual found in violation of its provisions commits an offence and, upon conviction, may face a fine of up to N500,000 or a minimum of five years imprisonment, or both.

Section 9(1) of the law reads: “Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of this law commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine, which may amount to N500, 000 or imprisonment of not less than five years or both.”

Speaking to Daily Trust, some stakeholders expressed divergent views on the development. Dr. Abdurrahman Ahmad Tijjani, a Kano-based medical practitioner at Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital, Kano welcomed the new saying is a positive development.

He said, “ It is very important considering that today,  certain diseases are transmitted from one place to another or from one person to another. There are three recommended tests, which are very important for intending couples. They include the genotype, hepatitis B and C, and sickle cell anemia.”

‘”We all know that taking care of people with these conditions is very expensive. It is very rare to see a person living with it passing 25 years. This is because, in Africa, we don’t have facilities and medicines that can take proper care of them, unlike in Europe where you can see people living with these diseases live longer.

However, a renowned Islamic scholar in the Department of Islamic Studies, at Bayero University, Kano who doesn’t want his name to be mentioned, said it is too early for the government to enact this law now.

He said the law ought to have been introduced gradually until it finally takes effect completely. Citing examples to buttress his claim, the university don said,  “When we look at the case of consumption of intoxicants and fornication in the Glorious Qur’an, the Almighty Allah prohibited it bit by bit. They are not declared unlawful all at once.

In his view, the government should first consider places where there is a high prevalence of such diseases for gradual implementation in both rural and urban areas of the state.

He also suggested that the government should call a meeting with Islamic scholars and traditional rulers among other stakeholders to advise on the law.

The Chief Imam of Shehu Usman Danfodio Jumat Mosque, Sheikh Isa Abba Umar Madabo in his views said, it is good that the law is passed for mandatory premarital test.

He said the mosque where he leads prayers does not accept to officiate any wedding Fatiha without the presentation of the intending couple test certificates from recommended medical centres.

“So I am in full support of this law, Islam is aiming at protecting lives. The purpose of marriage is to make the couple happy. If one of them is sick how can they enjoy their marital life?”

A father of a bride, Malam Hamza Nata’ala told Daily Trust that the introduction of the law is a welcome development.

He however suggested that since the medical screening is going to be carried out at government-recognised facilities, it should either be free or highly subsidised.

“The medical screening is very good for the couple, but it will be a burden for the couple or the family. It should be considered as a form of social services,” he said.

A prospective groom, Muhammad Sadisu whose wedding was scheduled for the weekend, said he only realised at one of the diagnostic centers in Kano that the proposed marriage had to be cancelled because they were incompatible after the result was out.

According to him, “Result from the medical screening indicated that if we marry, there is a possibility that our baby will be a sickle cell carrier.”

Another prospective bride’s father, Alhaji Usman Yau Magashi said his daughter’s marriage was scheduled for this year and he is in full support of the law because it will reduce the numbers of sickle cell children in the state, advising the government, considering the economic situation,  to support intending couples to make the test free since they can only attend government-approved centres in Kano State for the health screening certificate for genotype, hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, and other related conditions.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *