Health drives help push down infectious disease rates
Immunisation drives in Oman led to a huge cut in infectious diseases in 2018, government data has revealed.
According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information, 2018 saw cases of viral hepatitis, whooping cough, chicken pox, mumps and measles drop by up to 89%
Chicken pox saw the biggest fall in the number of cases reported, with 9,241 in 2018, down from 18,967 the previous year, reflecting a decrease of 51 percent. The biggest drop in terms of percentage decrease was in mumps, with 1,390 cases reported in 2017 and just 151 in 2018, pointing to a decrease of 89.1 percent.
A huge decrease was also recorded in cases of viral hepatitis, where cases dipped from 1,628 in 2017 to 593 in 2018, a fall of 63.6 percent. Whooping cough cases decreased from 517 to 128, while measles fell from 97 cases to just 12.
Dr Pradeep Maheshwari, internal medicine specialist at NMC hospital said, “The Ministry of Health is working closely with hospitals to run immunisation drives, particularly in the interior areas, so that they can educate people on health. A number of factors contribute to proper healthcare. Hygiene for example, reduces the risk of disease, while a proper diet builds good immunity.
“In addition, there are more medical care centres such as clinics and hospitals being built, all of them with good specialist doctors, and people are encouraged to go to them should they feel unwell, because they will be able to provide the right diagnosis. Awareness drives are also being conducted in schools and colleges so that the next generation are also informed about the importance of good healthcare. Prevention is, after all, far better than cure.”