Following the enactment of the Kano Mandatory Premarital Law, all intending couples in Kano must now undergo medical screening before marriage. This new regulation, reported by Daily Trust Saturday, mandates health checks for genotype, hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, and other related conditions before any wedding can be authorized in the state.

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf, while signing the law, emphasized the importance of its strict implementation to preserve the sanctity of marriages in Kano and ensure the birth of healthy children, free from preventable illnesses. The law aims to reduce the incidence of congenital health issues such as sickle cell anemia, HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis among newborns.

This initiative reflects the governor’s commitment to improving the healthcare sector in Kano, striving to significantly reduce health challenges and enhance the overall well-being of the population. Additionally, the law includes measures to prevent discrimination against individuals living with HIV/AIDS, sickle cell anemia, hepatitis, and similar conditions.

The law stipulates that no marriage contract can be formalized without a health certificate from a government-approved medical facility. Violations of this law are considered offenses, with penalties including fines up to N500,000, a minimum of five years imprisonment, or both.

Section 9(1) of the law states: “Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of this law commits an offense 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.”

The new law has elicited mixed reactions from various stakeholders. Dr. Abdurrahman Ahmad Tijjani, a medical practitioner at Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital in Kano, welcomed the development as a positive step. He highlighted the importance of the mandated tests for genotype, hepatitis B and C, and sickle cell anemia in preventing the transmission of these conditions.

“We know that caring for individuals with these conditions is costly, and it is rare for someone with such conditions to live beyond 25 years due to the lack of adequate facilities and medicines in Africa,” he said.

However, a renowned Islamic scholar from Bayero University, Kano, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed reservations. He argued that the government should have introduced the law gradually to allow for better acceptance and implementation. He cited Islamic teachings on the gradual prohibition of intoxicants and fornication as a model for implementing significant societal changes.

He suggested that the government should focus initially on areas with high prevalence of these diseases and engage Islamic scholars, traditional rulers, and other stakeholders in discussions about the law.

Sheikh Isa Abba Umar Madabo, Chief Imam of Shehu Usman Danfodio Jumat Mosque, fully supported the law, noting that his mosque already requires premarital test certificates for wedding ceremonies. “Islam aims to protect lives. The purpose of marriage is to ensure happiness for the couple, and health issues can hinder this,” he said.

Malam Hamza Nata’ala, a father of a bride, also welcomed the law but recommended that the government should provide the medical screenings for free or at a subsidized rate to reduce the financial burden on families.

Prospective groom Muhammad Sadisu shared a personal experience, revealing that his planned marriage had to be canceled after medical screening results indicated a high risk of their future children being sickle cell carriers.

Alhaji Usman Yau Magashi, another parent, supported the law for its potential to reduce the number of children born with sickle cell anemia. He advised the government to subsidize the tests due to the current economic challenges, ensuring that all intending couples could comply with the law.

Overall, while the new Kano Mandatory Premarital Law has received support for its potential health benefits, there are calls for gradual implementation and financial support to ensure its success.


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