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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 59-62

Knowledge and response of the community to premarital screening program (Sickle Cell Anemia\Thalassemia); AlMadinah, Saudi Arabia

1 Department College of Medicine, Taibah University, Madinah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Pediatrics Hematology Oncology, Maternity and Children Hospital, King Abdullah Medical City, Madinah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abdulrahman A Bedaiwi
Taibah University, Sofian bin Bisher Street, Madinah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/joah.joah_1_18

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BACKGROUND: Premarital screening (PMS) is a mandatory laboratory examination before marriage to identify genetic blood and some infectious diseases. Sickle cell anemia (SCA) and thalassemia are genetic disorders caused by errors in the hemoglobin genes and are prevalent in Saudi Arabia OBJECTIVE: This study assessed the knowledge and response of the Al-Madinah community regarding PMS program. METHODOLOGY: This cross-sectional study assessed the knowledge and attitude of Al-Madinah community regarding hereditary blood disorders. Thirty-seven interviewers conducted direct and electronic interviews from October 2016 to January 2017. RESULTS: The total number of respondents was 2554, among the participants, 61% noted that PMS can diagnose SCA, 5.3% noted that PMS cannot diagnose SCA, and 33.4% answered “I don't know.” Regarding thalassemia, 50.2% answered that PMS can diagnose thalassemia, 7.4% answered “no,” and 42% answered “I don't know.” Furthermore, 76.4% of the participants answered that PMS can prevent SCA, whereas 71% of the participants answered that PMS can prevent thalassemia. Approximately 88.6% of the participants agreed to undergo elective PMS, 78.2% of them will not marry someone who has SCA or thalassemia, and 79.5% of them will not marry someone with a genetic trait if they themselves have a trait. In terms of raising the community's awareness on various hereditary blood disorders, 95.9%, 93.9%, and 92.5% agreed on the importance of media, medical education in school, and seminars, respectively. CONCLUSION: As half of the population were unaware about the screened diseases, it is necessary to raise the community's awareness on the importance of PMS.

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