The popular saying Health is Wealth cannot be over emphasized as our health is a major determinant to our total well being. Also in Africa, marriage is believed to be a forever affair; therefore there's no room for divorce. Hence, marriage should be handled with utmost caution.
In as much as, no one anticipates a health problem, let alone an early death; these things occur in marriages. The good news is, the possibility of this occurrence could be reduced to its minimum. Here are seven important health checks to do before you say “I DO”:
Be opened to your partner about your HIV/AIDS status. This is crucial to the progress of the relationship. Letting your partner know your status is trusting and safe rather than hide it and open your partner and kids to a lot of health risks.
2. Hepatitis B
This is an infection of the liver caused by a virus which spreads through blood and body fluids. This has become increasingly fatal. It's mostly ignored but surprisingly more contagious than HIV. Go and have a check up.
3. Fertility tests
There are alternatives to infertility e.g. surrogacy, IVF, sperm donors but yet again letting your partner know would save your marriage from lots of troubles and years of doubts and worries.
4. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, STDs
Diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause female fertility problems, getting tested would aid early treatment, prevent your partner from being infected and prevention of further complications.
5. Blood group/Genotype testing
This is very important for compatibility and also the hope of raising healthy children. The sickle cell trait is still very common mostly because people are unaware of their genotype before marriage. This goes to say that it is advisable to know your genotype
6. Chronic health conditions
Health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma, seizure disorders, certain allergies, etc. come with serious complications, especially if not well managed. Having these tests done, helps you know what diet would be best for your partner. It also helps when kids are born as some of these are genetically transmissible.
7. Mental health checks
This may sound somewhat funny but there are countless stories of people only finding out years later of their partner's mental state. The best way to check may not be walking to a doctor to ask for a mental health test but to get to know your partner, watch out for signs and ask questions. Do not ignore little triggers especially chronic alcohol abuse or recreational drug use.
Being aware of all these health issues gives the marriage a good life span and also a good breeding ground for healthy kids. There’s no need to be shy in asking your partner to get these tests done and most importantly it’s best to have them done in well-trusted medical centers where you can be guaranteed of minimal or no errors at all in the results.