The National Committee of Prevention & Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) convened today (Monday) its first meeting for the current year at the Ministry of Health headquarters.
The meeting was chaired by H.E. Dr. Hilal bin Ali bin Hilal Al-Sabti, Minister of Health, with the presence of H.H. Dr. Mona bint Fahad AL Said, Assistant Vice Chancellor for International Cooperation in Sultan Qaboos University and Chairperson of the Committee along with representatives of various sectors and authorities.
The Minister of Health focused on the importance of strengthening the efforts of various authorities in reducing the significant burden of non-communicable diseases, stressing that the NCDs resulted in economic and social burdens to the world and Oman.
H.H. Dr. Mona bint Fahad AL Said underlined the need for redouble efforts in the prevention of NCDs.
During the meeting, Dr. Shadha Al-Raisi, Director of Non-Communicable Diseases at the Directorate General of Primary Healthcare and Rapporteur of the Committee, reviewed the global and local burden of NCDs. She highlighted the efforts exerted to prevent and control the NCDs including the progress in implementing the National Policy and Multisectoral Plan for Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), which was approved and launched in February 2018.
It is estimated that non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, chronic respiratory diseases and cancer are responsible for 80% of all deaths in the Sultanate of Oman, and that one in five adults dies due to non-communicable diseases before the age of 70 years.
The prevalence rates of risk factors causing non-communicable diseases are also high and increasing, as the prevalence of overweight and obesity is estimated at 66%. In the Sultanate of Oman the average daily consumption of salt is high, reaching 8.5 grams per day, while the daily average salt consumption recommended by the World Health Organization is 5 grams per day.
The NCDs annually cause economic losses estimated at 1.1 billion riyals annually. 74% of this cost is due to direct medical costs, therefore the prevention of non-communicable diseases is an essential pillar to reduce the burden of these diseases.
The feasibility study of investing in NCDs indicated that it is possible to avoid the death of 19,000 people in the next 15 years if the focus is on four packages of interventions: policies to reduce salt consumption in food, reduce tobacco use, interventions to raise awareness of physical activity and to expand clinical interventions to control cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
It is worth mentioning that the role of The National (NCD) Committee is to ensure multi-sectoral cooperation between all concerned parties. Moreover, it is concerned with developing plans in the field of NCDs prevention and control, following up on their implementation, and proposing draft laws, regulations and decisions related to the safety and health of society and the environment.