Should Premarital Screening for Blood Disorders be an Obligatory Measure in Oman?

Amal A. Al-Balushi, Budoor Al-Hinai

Abstract


Due to the high rate of consanguineous marriages in Oman, there is a correspondingly high prevalence of hereditary blood disorders, particularly sickle cell disease and β-thalassaemia. This article proposes the possibility of implementing mandatory premarital carrier screening for blood disorders in Oman, while giving due consideration to potential social and cultural obstacles. Although the implementation of such legislation would require collaboration between different sectors and may negatively affect the autonomy of certain individuals, mandatory premarital screening would help to alleviate the burden of hereditary blood disorders on the national healthcare system, as well as reduce avoidable suffering among carriers and their families.


Keywords


Consanguinity; Premarital Examinations; Genetic Carrier Screening; Mandatory Screening; Sickle Cell Trait; beta-Thalassemia; Oman.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18295/squmj.2018.18.01.004

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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