Key Bahrain plan to cut mortality rates
Manama, August 28, 2012
Bahrain has announced plans to cut the mortality rate of people suffering from diabetes and cardiovascular diseases by 25 per cent, said a senior government official.
Health Minister Sadiq Al Shehabi said the initiative by National Committee to Combat Chronic Diseases would run alongside a regional plan to combat non-communicable diseases in the Gulf.
"This would lead to the mortality rates dropping to 32.25 per cent from the 43 per cent now," he said.
Bahrain hopes to achieve the reduction by the year 2025, said Al Shehabi, speaking after the Cabinet's approval of the national plan to combat non-communicable diseases during its weekly session on Sunday.
"The adoption of this plan is the biggest step ever taken in combating these diseases," said the minister, who is also chairman of the National Committee to Combat Chronic Diseases.
"Chronic non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular ailments, diabetes, cancer and respiratory illnesses, as well as risk factors common and associated with these diseases, can be prevented.
"We have already taken steps to educate people about the hazards of smoking. We have been urging them to give up unhealthy food habits and sedentary lifestyle."
Al Shehabi said these factors, along with excessive intake of alcohol, were the most common causes of ill health and deaths in Bahrain.
According to the latest figures, chronic non-communicable diseases were collectively responsible for 43 per cent of deaths in Bahrain.
"Figures also point out that chronic diseases affecting people aged between 19 and 65 years include high blood pressure (38.2 per cent), diabetes (14.3 per cent) and high cholesterol (40.6 per cent)," said the minister. "In addition 35.9 per cent of people were also obese."
Al Shehabi said while 62 per cent of people included vegetables in their diet, 49.6 per cent eat fruits every day.
"A high 57.1 per cent had no physical activity, while 19.9 per cent were regular smokers," he said.
Al Shehabi said this had led to a huge burden on public health while affecting the country's economic and social development.
"If this problem is not addressed, the increasing burden will cause more loss to the nation in terms of lives and disabilities. This will be a drain on the health and community resources," he added.
Public Health and Primary Care Assistant Under-secretary Dr Mariam Al Jalahma said there was a need to protect people from non-communicable diseases and their complications, and this should be a shared responsibility among all segments of society.
"The new plan will promote health awareness on non-communicable diseases and their risk factors, strengthen programmes for early detection and integrated health care," she said.
It will involve improving the quality of health services provided to patients with non-communicable diseases and their complications, conducting and strengthening research and studies on non-communicable diseases, enabling patients and their families to participate in services provided, quality control, encouraging community partnerships to combat non-communicable diseases and strengthening the means of surveillance, monitoring and evaluation. – TradeArabia News Service