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Oman – Health Issues

Oman is a country located in the Middle East, with a population of approximately 5 million people. The country has made significant improvements in its healthcare system in recent years, resulting in increased life expectancy and reduced mortality rates. However, like many other countries, Oman is facing various health challenges. In this article, we will discuss some of the common health issues affecting the population in Oman, as well as the country’s smoking habits and related legislation.

Common Health Issues

Non-communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death in Oman, accounting for approximately 70% of all deaths. These diseases include cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and respiratory diseases.

Cardiovascular diseases are the most prevalent NCDs in Oman, with hypertension being the most common risk factor. According to a study conducted in 2015, the prevalence of hypertension among Omani adults was 29.5%. This high prevalence of hypertension is a significant concern, as it can lead to more severe cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.

Cancer is also a significant health issue in Oman, with breast cancer being the most common cancer among women, and colorectal cancer being the most common among men. In 2018, the World Health Organization reported that Oman had the highest cancer mortality rate in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, with 71.7 deaths per 100,000 people.

Communicable Diseases

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Infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C are still a concern in Oman. The prevalence of tuberculosis has decreased significantly in recent years, with the incidence rate decreasing from 12.6 per 100,000 in 2000 to 2.9 per 100,000 in 2018. However, hepatitis B and C are still relatively common in Oman, with an estimated prevalence of 2.3% and 1.8%, respectively.

Mental Health

Mental health is an emerging health issue in Oman. According to the World Health Organization, depression and anxiety disorders are the most common mental health conditions in the country. A study conducted in 2015 reported that the prevalence of depression among Omani adults was 16.7%, with females being more affected than males.

Smoking in Oman

Smoking is a significant public health issue in Oman, with approximately 13% of the population being smokers. According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, the prevalence of smoking among Omani males was 22.5%, while only 0.9% of Omani females reported smoking.

Attitudes towards Smoking

Smoking is generally frowned upon in Oman, and smoking in public places is strictly prohibited. In addition, smoking is not allowed in private vehicles when there are children under the age of 18 present. The government of Oman has taken several measures to discourage smoking, such as increasing taxes on tobacco products and implementing anti-smoking campaigns.

Smoking Legislation

The use of tobacco products is heavily regulated in Oman. The Royal Decree No. 12/2009 prohibits smoking in public places, including airports, hospitals, schools, and restaurants. Violators of this law can face a fine of up to 200 Omani Rials (approximately $520 USD). In addition, the sale of tobacco products to minors under the age of 18 is prohibited, and retailers who violate this law can face a fine of up to 500 Omani Rials (approximately $1,300 USD).

In conclusion, while each country has unique health issues that affect its population, many share similar concerns such as obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Smoking is also a significant health issue in many countries, with varying attitudes towards it and legislation in place to reduce tobacco use.

Governments and public health organizations play a vital role in addressing these health issues through education, prevention, and treatment efforts. By implementing evidence-based strategies and working collaboratively, progress can be made towards improving the health and well-being of populations around the world.