Following on from the UN High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases and the Healthcare Expansion Summit at Muscat in Oman, GCC countries have continued to push through new healthcare developments.
Omani and Qatari healthcare institutions have agreed to form a partnership to help tackle diabetes, one of the biggest healthcare issues in the GCC and in the Middle East more broadly. Omani healthcare professionals will be able to benefit from Qatari research into the factors which predispose patients to diabetes. Qatari research expertise will also be used to address incidence of other non-communicable diseases such as cancer and heart disease in both countries.
Meanwhile healthcare professionals at Kuwait’s Chest Hospital have formed a partnership worth KD25m with McGill University Canada to improve and upgrade health services in Kuwait.
And while investment and development of healthcare services is one significant factor for improving healthcare outcomes, a Kuwaiti hospital has been busy addressing another factor: Awareness. Dar al Shifa private hospital has already run two health awareness campaigns in the last month – one which raised awareness of eye health by offering free consultations, and a second campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer which launched on Wednesday 12th October and will run for one week.
Healthcare professionals in Oman have also been working to combat breast cancer with the launch of a mobile mammography unit in several locations across the Sultanate. The unit will offer free mammograms in a bid to encourage women to attend screening. A national breast cancer awareness month was also launched at the Qurum City Centre mall, Muscat, on 1st October, with the installation of an exhibition called ‘The Power is in Your Hands’, which highlights the importance of breast cancer screening.
Meanwhile in Jordan, where prevalence of diabetes has risen thirty-two per cent in two years, the Jordanian Ministry of Health has pledged to increase its annual healthcare budget to reduce incidence of non-communicable diseases and provide better healthcare for all.
Mental health is also on the agenda for improvement in GCC countries. The Minister of Public Health for Qatar recently recruited a new team of mental health specialists to support the work of the National Mental Health Committee. The committee aims to reduce the prevalence and severity of mental illness in Qatar, particularly by minimising the risk factors which contribute to the onset of mental illness.
These are just some of the many healthcare projects under development in GCC countries over the last twelve months. To find out more, view the links below: