Posted on August 29, 2012

HE Dr. Mohammad Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Director of Public Health Department at Supreme Council of Health (SCH) emphasized that non-infectious chronic diseases are deemed substantial causes of death and disability all over the world and Eastern Mediterranean.

WHO statistics prove that 60% of death cases in the world, and expected to reach 73% in 2020, are due to chronic diseases. Thus, they are a real risk and major burden to public health services.

His Excellency said: "World health survey outcomes carried out in Qatar, in collaboration with WHO in 2006 stated that 8.3% of subjects have diagnosis of diabetes, 10% are in pre-diabetes phases, 39% and 32.1% of adults are suffering overweight and obesity. In addition, the survey also indicated that 56% of subjects are below the WHO's recommended levels of physical activity, and 81.7% violates the WHO's recommended quantities of fruits and vegetables. Hence, the outcomes stated the need for effective work plan to monitor and compass risk factors, and enhance the efforts exerted for protection against non-infectious chronic diseases."

This speech was within the context of the training workshop of the gradual national survey on non-infectious chronic diseases and risk factors organized through Health Promotion and Non Communicable Diseases Division in the Public Health Department, SCH, in collaboration with WHO, earlier to the launch of survey by the next week. The workshop was attended by Mr. Nasser Saleh Al-Mahdi Director, Department of Censuses, Household Surveys, and Statistical Methods and Mr. Mansour Ahmad Al Maleki, Director of IT Department. Besides, speech was delivered by WHO expert Milan Kuan.

Training of volunteers

HE Dr. Mohammad Bin Hamad Al-Thani has emphasized that the general objective of the workshop is training volunteers to carry out the national survey. Within the course of the workshop, tasks and responsibilities will be distributed to all volunteers; supervisors and field researchers from all participant authorities including Supreme Council of Health, Qatar Statistics Authority, Primary Health Care Corporation, Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar Diabetes Association and Qatar Red Crescent.

His Excellency stated that these diseases are sharing common risk factors that could be confronted, i.e. smoking, less physical activity, malnutrition, obesity, hypertension, diabetes and fats in blood. Thus, the survey will address these diseases with the aim to provide essential database on non-infectious chronic diseases and risk factors of infection in Qatar, prediction with its risks to support health and planning services to define priorities of public health and develop national strategy for protection and control of these diseases through restriction of unhealthy attitudes and risk factors.

At the end of his speech, His Excellency thanks Ms. Milan Kuan, the WHO expert, for her participation in the workshop, contemplating the benefits from her long experience in the field and appreciating the efforts exerted by honored guests from Qatar Statistics Authority and Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, and directed special thanks to the volunteers from the Supreme Council of Health, Qatar Statistics Authority, Primary Health Care Corporation, Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar Diabetes Association, Qatar Red Crescent and Qatar Center for Voluntary Activities.

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Burdens on the state

Dr. Sheikha Al-Anoud bint Mohammad Al-Thani, Director of Health Promotion and Non Communicable Diseases in the Supreme Council of Health said: "risk factors and chronic diseases are global issues and are burdens on the state, whether for individuals or community as whole, beside the economic burden on health services".

Her Excellency stated that the workshop aims to review the questionnaire, distributed and approved by WHO and applicable in all gulf countries, except Qatar and UAE to date, with the WHO expert. The questionnaire is applicable in 22 countries in Eastern Mediterranean. There are countries distributed the questionnaire more than once.

Demographic data

Her Excellency Dr. Al-Anoud continued: "the survey is not restricted to just questions; however it has three gradual phases. The first includes questions about demographic data, then health issues and then history of infection, following up specific drugs, and then questions about risk factors lead to chronic diseases, consumption of vegetables and fruits, smoking, exercise of physical activities and drinking water. The second phase includes measurements of height and weight, body mass, pressure. The third phase includes Complete Blood Count (CBC).

Work team

Her Excellency Dr. Al-Anoud stated that: "there will be male and female work teams to maintain access to households once telephone numbers are obtained from Qatar Statistics Authority QSA, Censuses 2010, then contacting families after being sure they are at home from QSA, and then an appointment is made with Qatari families. Her Excellency also stated that: "the first phase will last for three months, before analysis of data on the system for two months and then announcement of the outcomes for the first national survey within one year and half from now. Her Excellency indicated that the survey will be supervised by committee of representative from participant authorities, i.e. Supreme Council of Health, Hamad Medical Corporation, Primary Health Care Corporation, Qatar Diabetes Association, Qatar University, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, and private local associations.

Database

Her Excellency Dr. Al-Anoud noted that the survey strives to provide essential database for non-infectious chronic diseases and risk factors in Qatar, indicating that the main objective of the survey is: prediction of the burden of non-infectious chronic diseases and risk factors, in addition to supporting health and planning services to define priorities of public health. Then, national strategy for protection against and control such diseases through restriction of unhealthy attitudes and main risk factors will be developed.

Regarding the reasons of carrying out the gradual national survey, Dr. Al-Anoud said: "non-infectious chronic diseases, i.e. vascular cardiac, diabetes, respiratory, or cancer are attributed to common risk factors including smoking, malnutrition, less physical activity, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and fats in blood. She added: "these diseases are the main reason behind high mortality and disability rates all over the world due to the continuous increase in the rate of infection with non-infectious chronic diseases, which represent one of the main challenges to public health in this century. They are deemed as threat to the health and life of millions of world population, besides its negative impacts on economic and social development."

Her Excellency Dr. Al-Anoud foreshadowed the light that non-infectious chronic diseases are the causative of 60% of mortality cases in the world, and expected to reach 73% by 2020, indicating that the outcomes from the world health survey carried in Qatar, in collaboration with World Health Organization in 2006 indicated that 39.7% of adults suffer overweight (Body Mass Index 25-29.9 kg/m2), 32.7% of subjects suffer obesity (Body Mass Index equal to or above 30kg/m2), 56% of subjects are below the WHO's recommended levels for physical activities (30 minutes/day for five days/week), and 81.7% of subjects are below the WHO recommended quantities of fruits and vegetables (5 times/day).

The outcomes also indicated that 13% of Qataris have history of hypertension and related medications, 27.2% of subjects suffer high rates of blood cholesterol, and 11% are regular smokers. Her Excellency Dr. Al-Anoud also noted that the survey target male and female Qataris from 18-64 years old living in Qatar during the period of survey. 


source: Al Watan Newspaper

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