Bahrain’s online health survey success
Manama, July 1, 2012
An online survey to assess the health status in Bahrain has received overwhelming response, said a top government official, adding that the e-form has been completed by hundreds of people within days of its launch.
The fourth Health and Fitness survey is being carried out by US firm Zarca Interactive to uncover the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the risks of unhealthy living.
NCDs are classified as diabetes, cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular ailments.
The periodic research targets both Bahrainis and expatriates through social networking sites.
"The response from the public is good and they are actively completing the online survey," said the ministry's health promotion director Dr Amal Al Jowder.
"The survey is in a questionnaire form, where respondents answer questions such as how often they have breakfast, dietary requirements and do physical exercise."
Dr Al Jowder said the survey would help policy makers prioritise legislation to draw a roadmap for developing plans, programmes, policies and strategies.
All of the respondents would remain anonymous and in the last few weeks the US firm has started sending out e-mails to random people, which was also promoted via the ministry's website, www.health.gov.bh, and its official Twitter account.
Respondents receive an online invitation with a link that directs them to the questionnaire form.
"We are spreading word through all communication channels so that more people from Bahrain participate in this survey," added Dr Al Jowder.
"In the coming weeks, we expect more people to join in as there will be more awareness and other campaigns on the ground."
Once the survey has run for a specific time period, Zarca would then review the results and notify the ministry of any alarming trends.
In February, Zarca released the results of a survey that found people in Bahrain were getting healthier - with 84 per cent of people eating breakfast on a daily basis, compared with just 69 per cent in 2010.
Half of the respondents were also eating organic food, although a third of expatriates said that was unimportant to them.
A total of 300 people were interviewed as part of the study, 63 per cent of whom were Bahraini, more than 34 per cent were Asian and 3 per cent Western expats.
The company has conducted independent health and fitness studies across the GCC in the last three years with more than 50 clients in the region. – TradeArabia News Service