By Abdullahi Yusuf
As part of preparations for the next mass wedding of suitors sponsored by the Kano State Government, the State Agency for the Control of Aids (SACA) has commenced a pre-marital health screening of an additional 147 couples.
The mass wedding that is known as “AUREN GATA” draws couples from all the 44 Local Government Areas of the state.
According to a statement issued by Usman Datti, the Information Officer of the Agency, the Director-General of the Agency, Dr. Usman Bashir, had during an inspection of the screening, explained that the exercise was aimed at “providing medical evaluations and consultations, if necessary, to prospective couples.”
Bashir also said that the objective was to ensure the suitors’ medical fitness and to prevent the spread of diseases that could be transmitted through marriage.
“This is achieved through laboratory tests to identify and address any potential health issues,” he said.
The main areas of focus in the exercise, the director-general said, included HIV testing, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C screening, Sickle Cell Genotype testing, evaluation for venereal diseases, and pregnancy testing.
He urged the prospective couples to take the exercise seriously, as the State Government had provided adequate facilities and medical personnel to ensure its smooth conduct.
He recalled that similar exercises had been conducted for different sets of couples who recently got married under the State Government’s mass wedding programme.
Recall that the State Government recently sponsored and officiated the mass wedding of about 1,800 couples.
The Government took full responsibility of the marriage, including payment of dowry, provision of furniture, wedding foodstuff and a N20,000 grant to each of the brides to enable them start up small-scale businesses “in the comfort of their matrimonial houses.”