From The Straits Times    |

MOUNT ALVERNIA SPECIAL

Mount Alvernia Hospital has a comprehensive set of pre-marital health screenings to identify underlying hereditary diseases or medical conditions that may affect your own health as well as that of your partner and kids later. The following are included in screenings:
• A physical examination and assessment, as well a review of both your medical histories 
• A height, weight and vision assessment
• A diabetes check and individual haematology profiles or full blood counts (FBC) that look at the various components of your blood
• Fertility tests for both of you

Here is more information on essential screenings to do at Mount Alvernia Hospital:

HEPATITIS B
This potentially life-threatening liver infection is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). If detected during a screening, babies of carrier mothers are given special injections to prevent transmission, which is usually through contact with the blood or other body fluids.

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES
This screening will identify potentially life-threatening diseases like HIV and syphilis. Early treatment of HIV infection and immune system monitoring can greatly improve long-term health. 

As for syphilis, many people infected with it do not have symptoms for years and remain at risk of complications later in life if they don’t get treatment. 

Syphilis, which may be passed to a baby by an infected mother during pregnancy, has been linked to premature births, stillbirths and, in some cases, death shortly after birth.  

RUBELLA
Also known as German measles, the rubella virus is spread through the air or by close contact when the infected person coughs, sneezes or touches a surface. 

You or your child may contract the virus by breathing in or touching the infected droplets, and then touching your eyes, mouth or nose. 

A woman infected with rubella early in pregnancy has a 90 per cent chance of passing the virus on to her foetus. 

What’s more, Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) is an important cause of severe birth defects. 

THALASSAEMIA
This is passed from parent to child, and is the most common inherited blood disorder in the world in which the body makes an abnormal form of haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. It is caused by either a genetic mutation or a deletion of certain key genes. 

The disorder results in excessive destruction of red blood cells, and is sometimes mistaken for iron-deficiency anaemia until special blood tests are carried out.

Mount Alvernia Hospital’s specialists advise that you make the time to undergo premarital health screening because knowing your health status and that of your partner’s will give you peace of mind. 

This story was first published in Her World Brides December 2015.