Background: In a step to minimize the risk of the propagation of genetic and some infectious diseases through the generation, Saudi Arabia had started the first national mandatory premarital screening program (NPMS) after the Saudi Royal Decree in 1424 to control inherited hemoglobin disorders. It presents a chance for the individuals to predict their genetic risks to disease and the possible genetic picture of their newborns. Objectives: To detect the degree of knowledge and attitude of the female university students of Hail area towards that important program. Material and methods: It is a cross sectional study carried out on the female students in Hail University, Saudi Arabia. The study was conducted during the year of 2014. Selection of the students was done randomly among students within 18-30 years old. A questionnaire with close-ended questions was designed to collect data from the participants. Results: Although the majority of the participants were aware of the availability of the program (75.5%) and that it is obligatory to do before marriage, only, 64.4 % thought that it includes genetic blood disorders, while (51.1 %), ( 50.3 % ) and (65.2 %) thought that hepatitis B, C and HIV were included. Knowledge was obtained from the participants from health colleges were better than others though some unsatisfactory knowledge about some modes of transmission of Hepatitis and HIV was encountered. Positive attitudes were obtained as most of the participants (74.4%) in the present study had as they thought that it is important to carry out NPMS. Concerning the participant attitude, most of the participants (74.4%) in the present study were Positive as they thought that it is important to carry out NPMS (48.1%) of the participant stated that medical counseling is important to be given after getting the results (Table 10). However, half of the students thought that Medical counseling is not important to be given after getting the results, and some of them thought it is against Islamic roles, interfere with God's well or cause psychological trouble to the couple. The students, at last, suggested adding Psychological diseases, chronic diseases and drug addiction to the NPMS program. Conclusion: This study indicated that most of the students involved in the current study have a satisfactory knowledge towards the NPMS. However, when considering the diseases included in the program, it was found that their knowledge is not sufficient. There is a need to enhance perception, increase knowledge and improve the attitude of the university students regarding the benefits of NPMS program. This is actually running all through the academic year 2014-2015 by the faculty of Medicine, Hail University.
Safia Moussa, Fatmah Al-Zaylai, Bashayerageel Al-Shammari, Khloud Abdularhman Al-Malaq, Salwa Rashed Al-Shammari, Tahany Faisal Al-Shammari. Knowledge and attitude towards premarital screening and genetic counseling program among female university students, Hail region, Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Medical and Health Research, Volume 4, Issue 1, 2018, Pages 01-06