High prevalence of chronic diseases remains a major challenge in Qatar

October 22, 2011

The high prevalence of chronic diseases and their risk factors as well as road traffic injuries and the insufficient control of addiction problems remain major challenges threatening public health programme in Qatar.

“We still have high prevalence of road traffic injuries in spite of an improvement in the traffic system in the past five years,” said Mohammad Bin Hamad Al Thani, Supreme Education Council’s Public Health Department director.

“We are also having insufficient control of the addiction problem while there are risks of indoor and outdoor air pollution due to active projects by oil and gas companies,” he said at the fourth Middle East Healthcare Expansion Summit.

There is a need to upgrade and increase public awareness regarding prevention and control of public health problems, he said.

The official also called for upgrading health legislation to match the fast developments within all sectors across the country, Qatari daily Gulf Times reported.

However, he said that there had been significant reduction in mortality rates, including infants and under-five children mortality as well as a decline in the rates of deaths and injuries related to road traffic accidents.

“Between 1984 and 2010, we have had a decreasing mortality rates which stood at 1.8/1000 population in 1984 to 1.2/1000 in 2010,” he said. “While infant mortality rate was 14.2/1,000 live births in 1984, it declined to 6.8/1,000 in 2010 and under-five mortality rate declined from 16.8/1,000 live births in 1984 to 8.5/1,000 in 2010. From 2006 until 2010, there was a decrease in death rate due to traffic accidents from 26 per 100,000 in 2006 to 13 per 100,000 in 2010 and severe injury rate was reduced from 75 per 100,000 in 2001 to 32 per 100,000 in 2010. Mild injury rate decreased from 262 per 100,000 in 2008 to 234 per100,000 in 2010.”

According to the official, plans for the country’s health sector included the formulation of a well-defined research plan with the ultimate goal to develop best practices in public health, upgrading the monitoring plan of different public health programmes, the establishment of the Addiction Control Centre, public health governance and health surveys.

They also include the automation of surveillance activities of both communicable and non-communicable diseases, upgrading the active surveillance activities for both communicable and non-communicable diseases, strong intelligence and health information system and situation analysis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, diabetes type I.

The implementation of the environmental health impact assessment project, upgrading the health legislation system as well as constituting new committees for diabetes, cardiovascular and occupational health are also within the plan, he said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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