It is now unlawful to get married without undergoing medical screening in Kaduna State.
This followed the passage into law, the Pre-medical Examination Bill 2017, by the State House of Assembly on Thursday.
The law now compels would-be couple to undergo medical test to determine their health status and compatibility before marriage.
The new law imposes a fine of “not less than One Hundred Thousand Naira(N100.000.00) or imprisonment of not less than six (6) months or both.”
The Deputy Speaker, Mr John Kwaturu, who presided over the assembly’s sitting said the law was necessary to protect couples from avoidable diseases.
He said that the law now makes it compulsory for couples to undergo medical examination twice before marriage.
Kwaturu said that the first test should be conducted three months before marriage and the second screening two weeks to wedding.
The deputy speaker explained that the law also provides that the medical examination would be conducted simultaneously by both parties in approved health facility.
He added that the result of the medical test would be explained to the two parties by the medical doctor, who must issue them with certificate.
“No person shall formalize any marriage contract for any person wishing to marry without medical certificate issued by a qualified medical doctor in respect of both parties,” a part of the law stated.
The law also provides that any person who contravene any of its provisions commits an offence.
He said it was an offence under the law for any health worker or any person to issues false medical result or assist in the issuance of same.
The deputy speaker added that such persons “shall be liable on conviction to a fine of Two Hundred Thousand (N200.000.00) or imprisonment of not less than one year or both.”
The Chairman, House Committee on Information, Mr Nuhu Shadalafiya told newsmen after the sitting that relevant government agencies would sensitise the people to create awareness on provisions of the law.
“Government should ensure serious mobilization before the law takes effect using radio television and the social media.
“It must ensure that the message is circulated in Churches and Mosques, and at ceremonies so that it gets to the grassroots.
“This is important, so that when one is caught contravening the law, there will be no excuse,” he said.