Many countries in the Arab region, such as Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and around the world, require prenuptial examinations as a condition for the validity of a marriage contract.
It has become increasingly important to enact legislation that compels those wishing to marry to undergo medical examinations before marriage to preserve the health of the family, society and future generations.
And the legislation imposing the requirement for citizens and residents of the UAE to undergo pre-marital medical examinations has led to the reduction of the incidences of genetic diseases by 100% in Dubai, which was recorded as more than 12% before the enactment of the law.
Categories of Pre-Marital Medical Examinations
There are 2 categories of pre-marital medical examinations, namely:
Pre-Marital Medical Examinations for Non-Relatives
The husband’s examination will include tests for determining blood type, banding factor, hemoglobin level, blood sugar level, hepatitis B virus (hepatitis B), AIDS, syphilis and semen analysis.
The wife’s examinations will include similar tests as those conducted on the husband but with the additional request for an analysis in respect of the rubella virus, estrogen hormones, and progesterone.
Pre-Marital Medical Examinations for Relatives
The husband’s examination will include similar tests as those listed in the non-relative’s category above but with the additional request for an analysis in respect of thalassemia and chromosome examination.
The tests required by the wife will include similar tests as those listed in the non-relative’s category above but with the additional request for analysis in respect of thalassemia and chromosome examination.
The Importance of Pre-Marital Medical Examinations
- Limits the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
- The pre-marital medical examination reduces the spread of congenital anomalies and helps in the prevention of hereditary blood disorders, including thalassemia and sickle cell anemia.
- It assists with the prevention of the spread of infectious diseases transmitted from the mother to her child, which may in turn lead to congenital anomalies and mental retardation, and also assists in the reduction of child mortality rates.
- It assists in the prevention of hereditary diseases.
- It reduces the financial, economic and psychological burden placed on families as a result of the outbreak of such diseases.
Where Can a Pre-Marital Medical Examination Be Performed?
Pre-marital screening and counseling services are provided by 25 health care centers spread across the Emirates, namely:
Dubai: Hor Al Anz Health Center, Al Muhaisnah Health Center, Al Ittihad Health Center.
Sharjah: Al-Rigga Health Center, Al-Khalidiya Health Center, Wasit Health Center, Al-Qarain Health Center, Al-Sabkha Health Center, Al-Riffa Health Center, Al-Dhaid Health Center, Al-Madam Health Center, Al-Bataih Health Center, Khorfakkan Health Center, Dibba Al-Hisn Health Center.
Ajman: City Center, Mushairif Center, Manama Center, Muzeira Health Center.
Umm Al Quwain: Al Khazzan Medical Center, Falaj Al Mualla Health Center.
Ras Al Khaimah: Ras Al Khaimah Center, Julphar Center, Kadra Health Center.
Fujairah: Al Faseel Center for Family Health Promotion, Antana Center, Qidfa Health Center
These facilities are licensed by the Ministry of Health and Prevention to conduct premarital screening services.
How to Complete a Pre-Marital Medical Examination
The applicants may attend at one of the approved medical centers, either together or separately. Once they have paid the required fees, a specialized doctor will be assigned to conduct the necessary examinations. If all is in order, a certificate confirming the medical fitness of the applicant or applicants may be issued and provided immediately.
However, the applicant or applicants may be requested to return for a second visit to discuss the results of the tests together.
In the event that a test is returned with a positive result, the parties will receive the necessary counseling, support and medical services which may include vaccination, specialist consultations, hospitalization or long-term treatment, as the case may require.
The Documentation Required for a Pre-marital Medical Examination
- Identity card or valid passport of both prospective spouses.
- Copies of the identity card or passport presented.
- Two photos of each of the prospective spouses.
- Proof of payment of fees.
Approval of Foreign Medical Certificates
In circumstances where the pre-marital medical examination took place outside of the UAE, the medical fitness certificate issued in another country must be attested in the country in which the examination took place.