February 14th, 2022 Peter Mulindwa, IHK Manager Marketing & Communications
Many couples date as they seek to understand and become compatible with each other. As the relationship grows from regular dates in public places to meeting friends and family, gain approval, show confidence and trust in each other.
Relationships have no standard way, starting, thriving or ending way but they are mostly glued by love and trust. One way to gain trust is being open about one’s private life including their health. Couples that aim for lasting relationships ought to pay attention to this.
Some places of worship in Uganda have made it mandatory for couples to fulfil certain requirements before getting marriage among which is having medical test done and revealed to each other before saying taking their vows.
HIV and other non-remediable conditions
Diseases like Hepatitis B and C, HIV will continue through life and need to be managed properly. Knowing your partner’s health status helps you protect yourself. Additionally, patients suffering from these conditions require care all through their life.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as Syphilis and Gonorrhea, can be treated properly if diagnosed early to reduce on the risks of miscarriages and infertility in marriage.
Dr. Sam Lubulwa a family physician at International Hospital Kampala advises that “couples should know their blood types to start with to limit their risk of complications during pregnancy”. There are different blood types such as O, A and B with Rhesus (RH) factors that are either positive or negative. RH incompatibility is one of the risk factors leading to jaundice and in some instances intra-uterine death during pregnancy. It is therefore important that couples test for blood group before formalizing their relationships.
Sickle Cell disease
Sickle cell disease is a health condition caused by a deficiency in the Red Blood Cells. The Red Blood Cells are shaped just like a sickle which affects their ability to pass through blood vessels to supply oxygen to the different parts of the body. An absence of enough oxygen in the body may cause other chronic health issues faced by most Sickle Cell patients. There is a 50% chance in every pregnancy when two partners carrying the Sickle Cell genes marry each other. On the other hand, a Sickle Cell patient can marry a person who has no genetic traits of the disease. Their children would only be carriers of the gene.
Other hereditary diseases
Marriage often requires a lifelong commitment from both the partners. Knowing each other’s medical history is also part of knowledge you should have before getting married. A test to check for inherited or hereditary diseases allows early detections and helps the couple to seek medical treatment before the diseases advance. Common conditions linked to family history include Diabetes, Cancer, high blood pressure, Cholesterol issues, Coronary conditions an Kidney Failures.
A Premarital checkup is important although not having it done before marriage doesn’t mean you can’t get it done later. The idea is to know your partner and his or her health status to be prepared for any complications that may crop up later in life.
International Hospital Kampala has numerous wellness packages for couples such as the Premarital testing and Preconception testing for men and women aimed at improving the health and lifestyle choices of couples and families. It takes only 15 minutes for these checkups to be done when you visit the Hospital.
Visit www.ihk.img.co.ug/wellness for more information about wellness packages.