Muscat: To reduce the prevalence of genetic blood diseases in the country, the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Oman has urged all youngsters to have a pre-marital medical examination.
The ministry said that all pre-marriage medical examinations will be treated confidentially and results will be disclosed only to the person applying for the examination.
Genetic blood diseases are very prevalent in the sultanate and as many as six in 10 Omanis carry a gene of inherited blood disorder.
According to official statistics, the probability a newborn will have genetic diseases in Oman is five to seven percent compared to the global average, which is less than five percent.
As healthy children are the backbone of any happy and stable family, MOH said it is important for the couples who are getting married to do a prenuptial medical examination to find out whether one of them is infected or are carriers of one of the blood diseases.
It says that pre-marital medical examination shall be not limited to those who have relatives infected with the disease because there are chances of the disease may be inherited between different generations of the same family without showing symptoms.
Complications due to these diseases may lead to the premature death of the child, continuous psychological suffering, a sense of guilt and other psychological pressures with the potential to destabilize a family.
The Council of Ministers recently gave its nod to the Ministry of Health, in coordination with the Ministry of Education and other relevant authorities, to conduct early medical tests of hereditary blood disorders for General Education Diploma students.