Fatima A Elmugadam1, Liena ELsayed3, Haytham M Gorshi2, Almigdad HMohammed1, Murad Almak1, IsraaH Hussain1 Mohammed A.Farag1, Mohammed S.Tawar1, Elhami A Ahmed4, Almegdad S A1, Wadah O Awad1, Ahmed M Musa


1- Khartoum University, Faculty of Medicine, Sudan

2- Institute of Endemic Diseases, Faculty of medicine, University of Khartoum, Sudan.

 3- Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Sudan.

4- UNESCO chair in Bioethics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Sudan.

Aim: The study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice aspects on the relationship of consanguinity to negative health outcomes. Also, to explore the attitude towards premarital genetic testing.


Background: Consanguinity (intra-familial marriage) is a global health problem with various adverse health outcomes. As this practice increases homozygosity of recessive alleles, it results in higher risk of early mortality and morbidity. Although, Sudan has one of the highest rates of consanguinity exceeding 40-50%.

Methodology: Data was collected from 1089 participants. Study was conducted in 13 urban and semi urban areas from 8 different states, using convenience sampling, trained interviewers paid house visits. Sudanese residents, 18 years and above, irrespective of their socio-economic status, were interviewed based on a locally generated and tested questionnaire. Analysis was done using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Results: 518 (48%) of participants were females, 571(52%) were males. about 800(73%) were among 18-40 years’ age group. The majority of respondents 437(39%) were college graduates. 803(74%) agreed on the negative health consequences of consanguinity, while 150(14%) opposed and 136 (12%) said “I do not know”. Among the respondents, 696(64%) showed non-preference for consanguineous marriage, Most frequently due to the possible transmission of genetic diseases. Of the 393 (36%) that showed preference the most frequent reason was its contribution to the stability of marriage.  When asked if they were willing to undergo premarital genetic testing, 908(83%) of respondents agreed to take it.

Conclusion: in our study, the overall awareness towards the issue was moderately high. But the practice still persists also in high rates.  It is not a revolution needed against consanguineous marriage in Sudan, rather, we need more investigation and integration of public health genomics sector to build efficient community-based awareness programs.

Keywords: Consanguinity; awareness; attitude; Sudan.


Presenter: Fatima Abdelhakam Abdellatif, MBBS, Faculty of Medicine University of Khartoum.



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