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Bahrain to open fifth nutrition clinic

Manama, December 26, 2011

Bahrain's fifth specialised nutrition clinic is expected to open in the coming months to promote healthy lifestyles, said a top official.

However, the location is yet to be confirmed as the clinic could open its doors in either Manama or Riffa.

"It will open either in Manama or Riffa in the coming months," said Health Ministry public health directorate nutrition section head Dr Nadia Gharib.

Dr Gharib spoke to our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News, on the sidelines of the Gulf committee meeting for combating non-communicable diseases (NCD) held at the K Hotel, Juffair.

The ministry runs four nutrition clinics at the National Bank of Bahrain Health Centre in Dair, Arad, Hamad Town and East Riffa.

The clinics help patients tackle obesity, diabetes and hypertension as they are examined by a team of experts, dieticians and health education specialists.

As part of the ministry's ambitious plan, it intends to provide treatment to citizens and residents throughout the five governorates.

There are three key factors to staying healthy and avoiding NCDs: avoiding smoking, daily physical activity and a healthy diet, said the ministry's health promotion directorate head Dr Amal Al Jowder.

"If we (GCC) do not act now then in 20 years the statistics of people suffering from NCDs would double," warned Al Jowder.

Meanwhile, Omani health ministry adviser Dr Ali Jaffer said a healthy lifestyle is an "expensive option" compared with an unhealthy one which is easy, cheap and viable for all.

"Fish which is healthy and rich in nutritional value is expensive while fast food that is unhealthy is cheap," said Dr Jaffer, who was one of the several GCC delegates attending yesterday's meeting.

"I also think the perception or thinking of people needs to change because they have full control of their health. The notion that one is getting older and is bound to contract diseases should change."

He also blamed the low tobacco taxes in GCC countries compared with the West, saying it encourages smokers and an unhealthy habit.

In Bahrain, NCDs are a major cause of morbidity and mortality, which are monitored during a surveillance phase in primary health care and clinics.

Last year, the Health Ministry registered 2,388 deaths of which 379 (16 per cent) were due to circulatory system diseases, 306 (13 per cent) cancer-related, 187 (8 per cent) due to endocrine and metabolic disorders, including diabetes, and 148 (6 per cent) from diseases of respiratory system.

The ministry conducted its previous national NCD risk factors survey in 2007 which covered respondents between the ages of 19 and 65.

It revealed that diabetes in the target group was 14.3 per cent, hypertension 38.2 per cent, cholesterol level high in 40.6 per cent and overall prevalence of obesity 36.3 per cent.

In addition, 57.1 per cent of the respondents said they did not undertake any form of physical activity, resulting in an overall figure of 32.9 per cent who were overweight. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | GCC | Diabetes | Lifestyle | Clinic | diseases | Nutrition | NCD |

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