Kano plans compulsory HIV test for would-be couples
Kaduna Assembly Bans Marriage Without Medical Test
Plans are in top gear for the Kano State government, through the Hisbah Board, in collaboration with the Kano State Agency for the Control of AIDS (KSACA), to come up with a law that would compel couples to undergo HIV screening before marriage.
Director General of KSACA, Dr. Bashir Usman, who disclosed this when he led management of the agency on a courtesy visit to the Hisbah Board recently, said when the drafting of the bill is completed, the two organisations would submit it to the state House of Assembly, through the Ministry of Health for enactment as a law.
He also explained that the proposal would include screening for sickle cell and hepatitis, adding that the gesture would save many lives, as well as, make the state epidemic-free.
According to him the visit was also to fashion out ways of partnering in order to address HIV prevalence in the state, stressing that KSACA would take the campaign for medical strategy, while the Hisbah Board would take the spiritual approach.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State House of Assembly has passed a Pre-marital Medical Examination Enforcement Law for intending couples, giving a window of three months and two weeks as a deadline for medical checkup before marriage.
The House also sets aside a fine of N200, 000 or one year imprisonment, or both, for any health facility, health worker or any person that issues a false result, adding that whoever assists in the issuance of such result would be liable for conviction.
The new law states that “HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and genotype tests, which will be conducted simultaneously for both parties in an approved health facility, and the result explained to them by a qualified doctor, is to be kept confidential, and to be handed by the parties over to the person who is to conduct the marriage contract in the presence of witnesses.