This section of OIC SHPA describes the current status of health in member countries by providing a detailed account of the efforts made by OIC member countries and institutions in the domain of health, progress towards achieving the targets of the MDGs related to health and social determinants of health.
The 57 OIC member countries are dispersed over a large geographical region, spread out on four continents, extending from Albania (Europe) in the North to Mozambique (Africa) in the South, and from Guyana (Latin America) in the West to Indonesia (Asia) in the East. As a group, they account for one sixth of the world land area and more than one fifth of the total world population.
The OIC member countries constitute a substantial part of the developing countries, and, being at different levels of economic development, they do not make up a homogenous economic group. The mixed nature of the group of the OIC countries reflects high levels of heterogeneity and divergence in the economic structure and performance of these countries. The degree of heterogeneity in the macroeconomic and developmental profiles of OIC member countries also reflects in their performance in health sector.
Although, average life expectancy at birth in OIC member countries is recorded at above 64 years in 2010, this average is still below 55 years in some countries especially in Sub Saharan Africa.
Despite significant reduction in maternal mortality rates during the last decade, reaching the target of Millennium Development Goal (MDG 5) of three-quarters reduction by 2015 seems to be difficult in many OIC member countries. A similar observation could be made also for the under-five mortality rates as the reduction achieved so far has not been satisfactory, especially in countries with high under-five mortality rates, where one out of each 12 children still die before reaching the age of five years.
Under nutrition has also remained quite prevalent among the children in OIC member countries with 36% children under the age of five recorded as stunted and 22% recorded as underweight during 2010-2011(WHO, 2012a).
The OIC Member Countries are still suffering from the double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Currently, it is estimated that over 46.3% of mortality burden in the OIC member countries is due to non-communicable diseases, mainly: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease; whereas 45.6% of deaths are caused by communicable diseases.
Overall, the prevalence of three key risk factors of non-communicable disease – tobacco use, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity is high in most OIC member countries. The prevalence of smoking among adult men is reported to be as high as 30% in some countries, whereas prevalence of tobacco use among 13-15 years old is more than 20%.
On average, one- third (33.7%) of the adults aged over 20 years are overweight whereas one out of every ten adults aged over 20 is facing obesity (11.8%). In line with the global trends, female obesity is significantly higher than the male obesity in majority of OIC member countries.
OIC member countries allocate only 2.6% of their GDPs for health whereas health expenditures account only 8.9% of their total government expenditures. Out-of-pocket health spending remained the most widely used method for health financing. It accounted for 36% of OIC total health spending in 2010 compared to only 17% at global level.
At the individual country level, out-of-pocket health expenditures account for more than 50 percent of total health spending in 22 member countries. On the other hand, only 28 member countries meet the critical threshold of 23 health personnel (doctors, nurses and midwives) per 10,000 population, generally considered necessary to deliver essential health services (SESRIC, 2011).