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‘More than half of population overweight or obese’

1 Nov 2021 By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Studies indicate that more than half of the sultanate’s population is overweight or obese, and 33 per cent are hypertensive.

Launching the National Monitoring Framework for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases on Monday, H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health, reaffirmed the seriousness of NCDs and revealed worrisome figures of the population’s health, including more than 2,000 diagnoses of cancer each year.

H E Dr Sa’eedi stressed that the first step to control NCDs and reduce the burden of these is to integrate methods of prevention into development policies, increasing capacity and supporting efforts to develop effective prevention mechanisms, which include enhancing monitoring systems to provide key data.

He informed that a national monitoring framework for the prevention and control of NCDs is a step towards ensuring organised and effective multi-sectoral cooperation to achieve the goals set in the national and global agendas and ensuring further progress towards universal health coverage and sustainable development.

According to Dr Jean Jabbour, representative of WHO in the sultanate, close monitoring is an integrated approach to treating NCDs.

“Tracking progress, providing the required information in a timely manner, and enabling appropriate planning at the national level are among the most important ways to coexist with these diseases. In addition, evidence-based planning is key to activating the required political will with the ability to intensify efforts to prevent and control NCDs as a major health priority,” he said.

He highlighted the country’s efforts in controlling NCDs and its keenness to prevent premature mortality from these diseases, and applauded the efforts of the Ministry of Health and all parties involved in developing the national framework.

The framework, which is an integral part of the National Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs, was prepared to reinforce the accountability and commitment of different sectors in implementing the various recommended interventions for the prevention and control of NCDs.

The framework is based on various local, regional and global high priority indicators related to the control of the most common NCDs – cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and mental health – in addition to the indicators related to reducing exposure to risk factors associated with these diseases – tobacco and alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and air pollution.

The national monitoring framework is considered a pioneering achievement in the region and a mainstay of the NCD surveillance system in the sultanate. Besides the operational definition of each indicator, all indicators are arranged in a logical order to help assess progress in achieving the desired result, and identify the gaps in implementing the various interventions.

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