The Directorate General of Planning and Studies of the Ministry of Health, represented by the Centre for Studies and Research will conduct a national survey between February and March, with a focus on non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
A sample of 9,045 families of nationals and residents across the Sultanate will be covered. The exercise will be with the support of ministry departments and the World Health Organisation.
Non-communicable diseases are one of the most serious health problems in the Sultanate, causing a significant financial burden on the ministry of health.
World health survey in 2008 indicated that 40 per cent of Omanis suffer from high blood pressure, 12.3 per cent of diabetes, 29.5 per cent of overweight, 24.1 per cent of obesity, 33.6 per cent of high cholesterol.
About 37 per cent suffer from physical inactivity, or do not engage in any physical activity and 14.7 per cent smoked.
As many as 1,300 new cases of cancer are recorded annually, according to the National Cancer Registry.
The survey is designed to: n create a national database for non-communicable diseases.
n provide a platform for the establishment of a surveillance system of the major infectious diseases, and the risk factors associated thereof in the Sultanate.
n estimate the tobacco use among adults in the Sultanate.
n develop a strong framework for monitoring, following-up and evaluation to see the extent of implementing these policies in consistency with the World Health Organisation framework and
n provide regular reports to the ministries, and national health agencies, and international organisations on progress in nutrition interventions, and in the field of non-communicable diseases.
The processing and preparation of the national survey of non-communicable diseases started two years ago after the issuance of the Minister of Health Ministerial Decree No. (176/2015) and the formation of a working group headed by the Department of Survey.
Dr Athraa Al Mowali, Director of the Centre for Studies and Research at the Directorate General of Planning and Studies and principal surveyor of the national survey of non-communicable diseases, said the surveys include field work in two phases:
The Phase I will consist of updating of population settlements, and preparing a list of households in each block by nationality and language to choose the survey sample in each governorate. The Phase II will include data collection during February and March and conducting individual interviews with a family member starting from 15 years of age.
The areas to be enquired will be demographic information about the individual selected, such as age, gender, marital status, education and work.
Information on the use of tobacco, including current and former, smoking of different types of tobacco, use of alcohol, duration and amount of use will be sought.
The dietary practices and habits, including eating fruits and vegetables, the use of table salt, oils used in cooking and for other purposes at home and exercises will also be enquired .