by Dolapo Adelana
The Kaduna State House of Assembly on Thursday passed a law mandating all intending couples in the state to undergo a compulsory medical screening before tying the knots.
The Pre-medical Examination Bill 2017, now compels the would-be couple to undergo a medical test to determine their health status and compatibility before marriage.
The new law imposes a fine of “not less than One Hundred Thousand Naira(N100.000.00) or imprisonment of not less than six (6) months or both.”
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The Deputy Speaker, Mr John Kwaturu, who presided over Thursday’s plenary said the law was necessary to protect couples from avoidable diseases.
He said with the passage of the new law, couples were mandated to undergo medical examination twice before marriage.
According to him, the first test should be conducted three months before marriage and the second screening two weeks to the wedding.
Kwaturu said the law provided that the medical examination would be conducted simultaneously by both parties in approved health facility.
“No person shall formalise any marriage contract for any person wishing to marry without a medical certificate issued by a qualified medical doctor in respect of both parties,” a part of the law stated.He added that the result of the medical test would be explained to the two parties by the medical doctor, who must issue them with a certificate.
The law also provides that any person who contravenes any of its provisions commits an offence.
He said it was an offence under the law for any health worker or any person to issues false medical result or assist in the issuance of same.
The deputy speaker added that such persons “shall be liable on conviction to a fine of Two Hundred Thousand (N200.000.00) or imprisonment of not less than one year or both.”
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.