The latest statistics from Jordan’s National Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Genetics (NCDEG) reveal the rapid rise in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among the Jordanian population.
By 2050, it is estimated that 3.4 million Jordanians will have diabetes mellitus, 3.7 will be suffering with hypertension, and 2.93 will have high cholesterol. In a country with a population currently standing at 6.5 million, these are significant figures.
While the World Health Organisation (WHO) is leading a mission to reduce the prevalence and impact of NCDs globally, Jordan will face a tougher challenge than most countries to combat diseases which are likely to pose a considerable threat to its healthcare infrastructure and to its economy more generally.
One of the main challenges it will face is combating obesity and overweight. Like many MENA countries, Jordan has a high obesity rate. Research from 2010 revealed that among over 25s in Jordan, 86% of women and 84% of men are classified as overweight or obese; these individuals are significantly more likely to develop NCDs such as diabetes and hypertension.
Jordan’s health in statistics
2011 statistics from Jordan’s Ministry of Health reveal that it receives 6.3% of the total government budget. The country has 106 hospitals providing a total of 11,991 beds. Of these, 4572 are provided by the Ministry of Health, 2,428 by the Royal Medical Services, 547 by Jordan University Hospital, 526 at K.A. The Founder University Hospital, and 3918 by the private sector. This gives a rate of 18 hospital beds per 10,000 of the population. In terms of trained healthcare professionals, per 10,000 population the country has 25.5 physicians, 43.7 nurses, 9.8 dentists and 12.6 pharmacists.
Jordan is making significant strides to improve healthcare; other recent news has included an 8.6% reduction in breast cancer cases among Jordanian women. Overall, year-on-year statistics from the Ministry of Health reveal a country whose healthcare infrastructure and health outcomes are improving, but which faces a significant challenge posed by unprecedented rates of diabetes and other NCDs.