Cousin marriages can be risky for your health as they may come with a lot of diseases. Dr Sughra Parveen told SAMAA TV on its show Naya Din that these diseases can be prevented by taking a blood test before marriage.
“In Indonesia and Iran, it is a common practice that if you’re opting for a cousin marriage the couple-to-be have to take a blood test for thalassemia and other diseases,” said Dr Parveen. She said by doing so, these countries have almost gotten rid of thalassemia.
“If the parents are carrying minor probabilities of thalassemia in their bodies they might transfer it to their future generation, which has a greater chance of developing thalassemia.”
Dr Parveen stressed that in inter-family marriages, blood tests for thalassemia should be made compulsory before nikkahs. “Our aim is to amend the nikkah document and add a section about blood tests to prevent diseases,” she said.
The doctor also suggested that in the case of cousin marriages, pregnant women should never skip their monthly ultrasounds and checkups.
“There’s another misconception that a pregnant woman should only visit a doctor in her third trimester or when there is an emergency,” said Dr Parveen. “There should be an ultrasound done after every two months in pregnancy to check if the baby is healthy or not, as this can prevent the baby from getting a disease.”
She concluded with, “there are many illnesses that have no cure but one can prevent them from occurring with some early precautions.”