MOH News
WHO Report Reveals the Kingdom's Substantial Progress of Healthcare Services
26 May 2012
   The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that the health affairs of people based in the Eastern Mediterranean Region are undergoing rapid changes owing to social and economic development, as well as the demographic and epidemiological transformations. Life expectancy has risen by more than twelve years from 1980 and 2007, reaching 70 years, thus achieving the highest life expectancy of any region world wide. The mortality of children under five years has diminished from 100 deaths per 1000 births in 1990 to 68 deaths per 1000 births in 2008.
 
In the same context, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has accomplished significant progress in healthcare services over the past few years. This progress has been reflected on the healthcare indicators in the Kingdom. Statistics show the under-five-children mortality was reduced from 44 cases per 1000 births in 1990 to 19.1 cases per 1000 births. Likewise, the mortality of infants has went down from 34 cases per 1000 births in 1990 to 16.5 cases per 10000. The mortality of mothers has been reduced, also, from 48 cases per 10000 births in 1990 to 14 cases per 10000 births. The average of life expectance has leapt to 73.3 years in 2010.
 
According to a recent report issued in Geneva by the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, there are fourteen countries free from malaria, and twenty countries in the Region are free from polio. As for the regular immunizations against the diseases targeted by vaccination, the rate of immunization reached over 85% in the whole region, and over 97% in Saudi Arabia over the past five years. The report made clear that, regardless of the considerable achievements accomplished in many countries in reducing the mortality of children under five years, it is still high in certain countries (68 cases per 1000 births). The same is right with the mortality of mothers; there are about 250 deaths among mothers per 100000 births (in the Kingdom, only 14 deaths per 100000 births).
 
The report uncovered, also, that the major reasons for death, as conceived by health planners in the region, include non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which trigger over 50% of mortality. Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, strikes, chronic respiratory diseases and cancer are NCDs. Most deaths caused by non-communicable diseases could be traced back to cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and chronic respiratory diseases. These four groups of diseases are further worsened by certain risk factors (tobacco-use, physical inactivity, unhealthy lifestyle and diet, etc.). Reports show that the rate of smoking among adults mounts to 50% in most countries. Besides, more than 50% of women in this region suffer from overweight and obesity. Also physical inactivity and diabetes are very common.
 
Finally, the report prioritized the adherence to the commitments and agreements aiming to fight and control non-communicable diseases, as well as the positive methods and policies embraced by the region's countries to combat these diseases. To that end, health workers in these countries are keen participate vigorously in the meetings and conferences of the 65th session of the WHO General Assembly; which is very encouraging and hopeful. The World Health Organization (WHO), for its part, will continue to enhance the potentials and capabilities of these countries in pursuit of attaining the health-associated developmental objectives.
 



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