Adeniyi Olugbemi, Sokoto
The Sokoto State Government says it will promulgate a law to make it compulsory for potential couples to undergo HIV and sickle cell tests.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Balarabe Kakale, disclosed this in Sokoto at a ceremony to mark the 2017 World Sickle Cell Awareness Day.
The ceremony was organised by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with a non-governmental organisation, Productive Youths Development Initiative.
Kakale said that the ministry would convene a high-power seminar to be attended by medical experts, traditional and religious leaders as well as other stakeholders on the issue.
The commissioner explained that the seminar would agree on the positions of the law, Islam and culture before the law would be promulgated.
Kakale said, “The ministry would, thereafter, sponsor a private bill to the state House of Assembly in this direction.
“The assembly would then debate the bill and upon passing it, it would be made compulsory for would-be couples to undergo the tests.
“This is to further reduce the prevalence of the diseases in the state and the country.”
Kakale further said that the law would also make it compulsory for would-be couples to undergo HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B tests.
He said all would-be couples would be compelled to enrol in the state’s community contributory health scheme.
‘’In the same vein, all potential grooms would be made to include long-lasting insecticide treated nets in their bride’s wares.
‘’All these measures are targeted at further reducing the menace of these diseases in the state,’’ he added.
Kakale stressed the need for people in the state to enrol in the contributory health scheme to reduce the costs of treating diseases.
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