SESRIC has launched the OIC Health Report 2017 during the 6th Islamic Conference of Health Ministers, which was held in Jeddah on 05-07 December 2017. The main findings of the report were presented by H.E. Ambassador Musa Kulaklıkaya, Director General of SESRIC, during the conference.
The OIC Health Report 2017offers a comprehensive analysis of the state of health in OIC countries by looking into the latest comparable data and trends on key health indicators. The report is mainly structured around the six thematic areas of cooperation identified in the OIC Strategic Health Programme of Action (OIC-SHPA) 2014-2023, namely Health System Strengthening; Disease Prevention and Control; Maternal, New-born and Child Health and Nutrition; Medicines, Vaccines and Medical Technologies; Emergency Health Response and Interventions; and Information, Research, Education and Advocacy.
Some of the relevant findings and recommendations of the Report
Over the last two decades, many OIC countries have witnessed significant improvement in health care coverage and services and, consequently, they recorded declining trends in maternal, new-born and child mortality rates. Since 1990, OIC countries, as a group, managed to reduce maternal mortality rate by 42 per cent whereas child mortality rate has also decreased by 52 per cent. Nevertheless, despite this improvement, OIC group made the least progress in reducing maternal and child deaths and many OIC countries have missed the targets of the Millennium Development Goal 4 and Goal 5.
The provision of quality antenatal care remained a major concern in many OIC countries with only 54 per cent of total pregnant women benefiting from four antenatal checks up. More than one-third (37 per cent) of births in OIC countries are still taking place unassisted compared to 20 per cent in non-OIC developing countries and 24 per cent in the world. Though DTP3 immunization coverage in OIC countries has improved significantly since 1990, still 22 per cent of children are missed out annually.
An analysis on the state of disease prevention and control shows that, on average, OIC countries improved their stance and many of them achieved to reduce mortalities caused by Communicable Diseases (CDs) and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). However, the average of OIC countries in many diseases and risk factors still stay higher than the average of developed countries as well as the world average.
There is an upward trend in the use of tobacco in OIC countries where the average tobacco smoking rate increased from 18.3 per cent in 2006 to 19.8 per cent in 2015. In addition, the prevalence of insufficient physical activity among adults in OIC countries was the highest (27.8 per cent) among all country groups. As a natural result of insufficient physical activity and unhealthy diet, prevalence of obesity increased from 15.2 per cent in 2010 to 17 per cent in 2014 in OIC countries.
A significant number of OIC countries continued to struggle with epidemics of communicable diseases, which are largely preventable. In 2015, communicable diseases were responsible for 30.2 per cent of all deaths, which was far exceeding the average of 24.0 per cent in non-OIC developing countries and 22.5 per cent in the world.
Many children and adult are at risk of dying due to diarrhoea that mainly stems from unclean drinking water and unhygienic sanitation. As of 2015, only 67.6 per cent of population has access to improved sanitation facilities and 84.3 per cent have access to improved water sources in OIC countries.
The number of people with malaria also increased in OIC group with cases reported climbing up from 3.8 million in 2008 to 45.3 million in 2015. In contrast, the incidence of tuberculosis went down from 164 (per 100,000 people) in 2000 to 121 in 2015.
With respect to production and supply of medicines, vaccines and medical technologies, OIC countries are characterised by low production capacities and rely heavily on imports to meet their domestic demand. In 2016, pharmaceutical imports of OIC countries were recorded at US$ 8.1 billion compared to exports of only US$ 0.7 billion. Vaccines production capacity also remained very low across OIC countries.
Among other recommendations, the OIC Health Report 2017 concludes by stressing the need for more commitment and efforts by the member states to consider health sector at a higher level on their national development agendas to meet the current and future demands for health care services of rapidly increasing populations. Furthermore, the report also underlines the importance of cooperation and collaboration in various health issues within the framework of implementation of the OIC Strategic Health Programme of Action (OIC-SHPA) 2014-2023, which has been prepared by SESRIC in collaboration with member countries and relevant international organizations, and adopted by the 4th Islamic Conference of Health Ministers.