Muscat, Oct 30 – Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death in the world, accounting for 70 per cent of all deaths in the Sultanate, said Dr Adhra al Maawali, Director of Centre of Studies and Research at the Ministry of Health (MoH).
Dr Adhra said nearly 11 people die every day due to NCDs, which include cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and respiratory diseases.
Cardiovascular diseases account for 36 per cent of all deaths, diabetes 12.3 per cent, cancer 9 per cent and respiratory diseases 2 per cent.
This was revealed during a workshop held in collaboration between the MoH, represented by the Centre of Studies and Research and The Research Council (TRC) for reviewing the strategic research programme for NCDs.
Dr Hilal Ali al Hinai, Secretary-General of TRC, said: “The Sultanate has made great strides in the fight against non-communicable diseases for several years. It has been selected by the World Health Organization among 11 countries around the world to serve as a model for combating non-communicable diseases.”
“NCDs are diseases that develop slowly and last for a life time. They lead to disability or death, affecting the individual, family and the community and are a burden on health institutions,” said Dr Adhra.
“NCDs are one of the greatest challenges to global health and development in the 21st century. Such diseases have claimed the lives of 41 million, accounting for 71 per cent of global deaths and 85 per cent of premature deaths occur in the low and middle-income countries, according to the WHO report in 2018.
She said the cumulative economic loss in 2011-2025 is estimated at $7 trillion in the low and middle-income countries, while $11.2 billion are spent annually on effective interventions to reduce the burden of morbidity.
NCDs can be controlled, reduced and even prevented through healthy lifestyles, increasing physical activity and movement, and combating smoking and alcohol use. This can be achieved through government, private and voluntary participation.
The objectives of the strategic programme are to achieve leadership in epidemiological and interventionist research aimed at controlling and preventing morbidity, disability and mortality from chronic NCDs.
Mai Al Abria