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Kuwait to introduce pre-marriage checkup Aug. 2

KUWAIT, June 3 (KUNA) -- The new marriage law providing for pre-marriage checkup will be in force on Sunday, August 2, 2009, Assistant Undersecretary of Kuwaiti Ministry of Health for Medical Services Dr. Yousuf Al-Nesf announced on Wednesday.
"The aim of the legislation is to ensure a healthy and happy family and eradicate the hereditary and communicable diseases in Kuwait," he told reporters here.
Al-Nesf noted that the enforcement of the law will be preceded by a public awareness campaign that will last through July 30.
"The law has been adopted after lengthy debates and careful studies by all concerned departments.
"As part of their studies, the departments sent missions to other Arabian Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain that adopted the pre-marriage checkup system to get acquainted with their experiences," he pointed out.
Al-Nesf highlighted the importance of the enlightenment campaign in educating the public about the legislation and its targets.
"The popularity rate of the legislation in the Saudi community rose from nine to 39 percent after five years of the adoption of the law thanks to the awareness campaign," he added.
Meanwhile, Abdullah Al-Hamoud, supervisor of family affairs at the Justice Ministry, said if the results of the lab tests proved that the would-be marriage in unsafe due to the illness of one or both of the partners, the marriage contract would be cancelled.
"A marriage officer is authorized to solemnize a marriage only after receiving a certificate that verifies that the couple conducted a checkup and were physically fit," Al-Hamoud reminded.
"Any violation of the legislation is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to KD 1,000, or one of both punishments," he warned.
Director of the Social Health Department of the Health Ministry Dr. Ya'qoub Al-Kandari said the ministry set up a medical center in Al-Sabahiya Medial Area to conduct the checkups.
The center will be ready to receive applicants on July 30, Al-Kandari added. (end) mah.abd.gb KUNA 032318 Jun 09NNNN