A recent report has unveiled the changes the Middle East and Africa (MENA) region has undergone in the healthcare industry over the past 20 years, claiming that the average age of death in MENA has increased by up to 30 years. In addition to this, overeating now causes more health issues than hunger, with chronic diseases such as diabetes rising due to high blood pressure, poor diet, smoking and lack of physical activity. Findings of the paper will be presented at Arab Health Exhibition & Congress, the world’s second largest healthcare expo, which opens tomorrow (27 Jan) at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibitions Centre, and will continue until 30 January.
Globally, people are living longer than ever before, the population is getting older, and the decline in child mortality and the number of people around the world is growing. However, living longer does not mean that people are living healthier, they are simply living to an older age but are experiencing more ill health.
“The data has clearly shown that the Arab world has made dramatic progress in reducing mortality and prolonging life. Over the last 20 years, premature death and disability for most communicable, newborn, nutritional, and maternal causes have decreased, with the exception of HIV/AIDS,” said Dr Ali Mokdad, Director of Middle Eastern Initiatives and Professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, and co-creator of the report.
“Despite these improvements, a substantial disease burden from contagious communicable, newborn, nutritional, and maternal causes persists in the low-income countries of the Arab World.”
The inspiration of the report came from the understanding that policy makers lacked comprehensive and standardized data on diseases, injuries and potentially preventable risk factors for decision-making. While trends in the MENA region were largely consistent with global patters, certain non-communicable diseases were much more prominent causes of premature death and disability in the region compared to the world as a whole.
Depression ranked fifth in the region, but ranked 11th globally. In the MENA region, anxiety disorders were the 13th cause of premature death and disability, but did not rank among the top 25 causes of DAILY (loss of health life) at the global level.
Arab Health Exhibition & Congress is open to all trade visitors and healthcare professionals from 10:00am-6:00pm on 27-30 January 2014.