The Ministry of Health and Prevention announced the official results of the national health survey approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), during a media briefing organized at the Ministry’s headquarters in Dubai.
In this context, His Excellency Abdulrahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, stated that the national health survey outcomes have significant indications and outputs, which support the country’s ambitions, as well as the directions of the wise government within the framework of the sustainable strategy of various essential sectors, including the health sector to provide health, well-being and happiness for the UAE population.
“The outcome of this survey will help update the results of several strategic health indicators, and promote programmes of national health planning and policies, in addition to exploring the healthcare future, to achieve the UAE Vision 2021 aiming to adopt a world-class health system and objectives of the Sustainable Development 2030 to boost the competitiveness index of the UAE in the global fields,” Al Owais added.
The health survey was based on a standard questionnaire that includes vital indicators that are relevant to health of the society, such as individuals’ health behaviors, their food habits and risk factors, indicators of healthcare services utilization, health expenditure, and vital signs such as diabetes, blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. These indicators are collected to know the current status in order to reduce non-communicable diseases risk factors, morbidity, and mortality and hence, improve healthy life expectancy.
Developing Health Approaches and Strategies
H.E. Dr. Mohamed Salim Al Olama, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and Prevention, shed the light on the outcomes of this survey in developing, enhancing and uniting health approaches and strategies, such as the efficiency and quality of healthcare services, reducing deaths, morbidity and improving healthy life expectancy, in addition to reducing risk factors and the burden of non-communicable diseases, individuals’ health behaviors, expenditure of individuals and families on health, and health vital signs.
He highlighted MoHAP’s efforts to develop quality and safety for therapeutic, healthcare and pharmaceutical systems according to international standards, as per the statistical facts and smart analytics tools for decision-making and enactment of appropriate health policies, as pursuant to MoHAP’s strategy 2017 – 2021.
Updating Health Indicators Outcome
In turn, Dr. Hussein Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for Health Centers and Clinics at the Ministry Health and Prevention, lauded the efficiency and efforts exerted by the Supreme Committee for the National Health Survey and the supporting committees. He also thanked all who have contributed to the success of this survey, including the government and private authorities, and the families.
He underlined that the successful completion of this survey contributes to updating the population health database, measuring health performance indicators in accordance with the highest global standards in statistical quality, fostering the health database for decision-making and enacting health policies, measuring the initiatives and health programmes outcomes launched by MoHAP.
Additionally, the survey showcases to what extent the response of the individuals and their future expectations, within the framework of accomplishing MoHAP’s strategy aiming to provide comprehensive and integrated healthcare services in innovative and sustainable ways to prevent the spread of diseases in the community.
During the briefing, Al Rand unveiled the survey’s objectives, mechanism and criteria, in addition to its official detailed results, their impact on the Sustainable Development Goals, comparing 2017-2018 survey results to 2010 results and outlining plans and strategies to be adopted by the Ministry of Health to improve health outcomes.
10,000 Local and Resident Families Took Part in the Survey
Alya Zaid Harbi, Director of MoHAP’s Statistics and Research Center, stated that the national health survey kicked off in October 2017, under the theme “My Health is a Priority”. 10,000 families including both residents and locals took part in the survey with a high response rate of 94%.
The survey featured a diverse group of indicators, in accordance with WHO’s standards which serve the requirements of WHO’s members and cover the indicators of the UAE health-related national agenda.
These indicators comprised the diet, physical activity, and screening of cervical cancer, physical measurements, diabetes, cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases, and tobacco.
Diabetes among Adults 11.8%
The survey results showed that diabetes prevalence among adults over the age of 18 and suffer from high blood glucose or took diabetes medications the day of participating in the survey dropped to 11.8%, down from 18.9% in 2010.
Overall Satisfaction in the UAE Healthcare Service Delivery 96%
The overall satisfaction in the UAE healthcare service delivery has been as high as96%. However, this aspect was covered by 2010 survey.
Exclusive Breastfeeding 59.7%
The proportion of babies (0-5 months) who were exclusively breastfed was as high as 59.7 % up from 34% in 2010, which reflects the effectiveness of related awareness campaigns.
Prevalence of high total cholesterol 43.7%
According to the survey, the proportion of adults over the age of 18 and suffering from high cholesterol levels fell to 43.7%, down from 57.6 % in 2010. Doctors usually use the total cholesterol of the patient to determine the risk of having heart disease and how manage it perfectly
Prevalence of current smoking 9.1%
The percentage of smokers over the age of 18 years has gone as low as 9.1% down from 11.1% in 2010. The significant decrease is attributed to activating Tobacco Control laws and regulations, strengthening smoking cessation services Health awareness campaigns, Federal Law No.15 of 2009 regarding Tobacco Control Public health draft law, increasing the number of smoking cessation clinics and levying Excise tax on tobacco products among other initiatives.
Prevalence of Obesity 27.8
As clearly shown by the results, the proportion of 18-year-old adults and above suffering from obesity has gone down to 27.8% compared to 37.2% in 2010. This is an excellent improvement that was made possible by government actions, which included launching health awareness campaigns, early intervention programs for children and adults with weight loss challenges, public health draft law, interactive map for physical-activity-promoting venues, and ‘Etminan’ initiative, a periodic examination program measuring body mass and referring overweight or obese people to nutrition clinics or weight care centers to help them achieve a healthy weight.
Prevalence of raised blood pressure 28.8%
The total number adults over the age of 18 years and suffer from hypertension or have reported taking hypertension medicines declined to 28.8% from 14.7% in 2010.
To further reduce the prevalence of hypertension, the ministry will intensify its efforts to launch hypertension awareness campaigns, early detection, reduce salt consumption, and will coordinate with competent authorities to pass a legislation reducing the consumption of salt and saturated fats.