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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Check up for lifestyle diseases

MoH offers screening for cholestrol, sugar and high BP from new year
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To ensure a healthy society and reduce risks of chronic illness, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has invited people aged 35 years old and above to undergo tests for non-communicable diseases (NCDs).


The Ministry of Health will provide a new health service for citizens, starting from January 1.


A statement issued by MoH said, “The ministry will provide a new preventive health service to citizens who have completed 35 years of age, starting from January 1. The service aims to detect chronic diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, blood pressure and obesity."


The service will include conducting medical tests such as checking cholestrol, urine, sugar and measuring blood pressure. The ministry will set a treatment plan for the patient after the medical results.


A post-screening plan will be made according to the results of the tests.


According to a study by MoH, NCDs cause 72 per cent of all deaths in Oman


An estimated one in five adults – under the age of 70 – dies of an NCD. The study revealed that NCDs cost the Omani economy RO 1.1 billion every year, which was equivalent to 3.59 per cent of the GDP in 2019. This annual cost included RO 609 million in healthcare expenditure and RO 486 million in lost productive capacity due to premature mortality and disabilities.


In 2017, the NCD causing the most deaths in Oman was cardiovascular disease, accounting for 36 per cent of all deaths in the country, followed by cancer (11 per cent) and diabetes (eight per cent).


The study indicated that Oman could reduce its burden of NCDs by investing in four cost-effective and proven policy and intervention packages over the next 15 years (till 2034).


In doing so, Oman could save RO 671 million in economic output losses. Furthermore, by investing in these four interventions and policy packages, Oman could save at least 18,724 lives and reduce the incidence of diseases.


According to the study, the intervention packages are associated with benefits far outweighing the costs. Salt reduction had the highest return on investment (8.6:1), followed by tobacco control (4.8:1), cardiovascular and diabetes clinical interventions (2.3:1) and diet and physical activity awareness (2:1).


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