The Deputy Director of the Social Health Department, Dr. Hassan Al-Awadi, said there are five centers in Kuwait which identifies if marriages between couples are safe or unsafe. They are the main center in Al-Sabah Medical District and serves the residents of the Capital and Hawalli governorates, the Manahi Al-Osaimi center in Khaitan and serves the residents of Al-Farwaniya governorate, the Jahra Center, serves the residents of Al-Jahra Governorate, the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Center, which provides services to the residents of Al-Ahmadi Governorate and the Mubarak Al-Hassawi Center in Hittin and serves the residents of Hawalli and the Capital Governorates as well.
These examination centers are considered one of the vital and important departments in the Ministry of Health and looked upon as a “safety valve” that ensures the preparation and implementation of the general ministerial plan for health social services. The Al-Qabas daily added, medical examination centers received 25,463 prospective visitors who wish to tie the knot in 2022 at a rate of approximately 260 visitors a day.
Al-Awadhi explained that these centers currently receive about 240 to 260 visitors per day (120 to 130 marriage parties), noting that during the past year they received 25,463 visitors, including 22,849 citizens and 2,614 expatriates, and 12,597 certificates were issued, including 12,434 certificates for safe marriages, and 163 partners to the marriage failed to get the clearance because they were considered unsafe. Hundred applicants failed to get the nod — 82 of them for lack of approval after medical advice and 18 for not reaching the maturity age.
He said that the 163 certificates were denied after the discovery of specific diseases in both parties to the marriage, including 45 cases of hepatitis B, 6 of hepatitis C, 12 cases of acquired immunodeficiency virus (AIDS), 39 syphilis, and 61 of other genetic diseases.
The medical sources said the results of the medical test takes 3 days to identify if the marriage is “safe” or “unsafe”. The concerned centers follow a protocol and procedures aimed at facilitating the visitors.
Al-Awadi explained the total cases that were discovered to be infected with viral diseases during 2022 are greater than those associated with insecure certificates, especially with the insistence of the two parties to marry despite clarifying the type of disease, as the tests showed that there were 66 cases infected with hepatitis B, 43 with hepatitis C, and 222 with syphilis and 24 cases of AIDS.
He noted the examinations that are conducted for one party, with the intention of marrying outside the country, which requires receiving the result of the examination from any center locally, and its ratification by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Kuwaiti embassy in the country in which the marriage is scheduled to take place.
He pointed out that the medical staff in the pre-marriage examination centers address the affected party after confirming the results, and explain to him/her the situation, and in the event that he wishes to continue the marriage, a written consent is obtained from him/her in this regard and the second party is summoned and informed, and in the event of refusal, approval is taken to not consummating the marriage, adding that if he agrees to continue, the signatures of both parties are taken with the consent of their prior knowledge of the existence of a disease in one of them.
He said the person must book an appointment at the center through the Ministry of Health website or an easy application, to ensure the speedy completion of the examination, which does not take more than 5 minutes.
The number and types of cases detected — 66 infected with hepatitis B virus, 43 infected with hepatitis C, 24 infected with HIV, 222 cases of syphilis.