The political sphere keeps Bahraini affairs in international news. However, the top diseases in Bahrain that impact its citizens are less widely discussed. In Bahrain, diseases that caused death in 2013 included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lower respiratory infections and breast cancer. Non-communicable diseases (those that cannot be transmitted) made up the majority of deaths in 2013.
Here are some of these non-communicable diseases. Note that the “overall” percentage refers to a comparison between communicable, noncommunicable and injury-related deaths in Bahrain in 2013.
Statistics suggest that noncommunicable diseases contribute to about 78 percent of deaths in Bahrain. Furthermore, there is a 13 percent risk of death among people in the age range of 30 to 70 due to cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes or cancer.
- Cardiovascular Diseases
Out of Bahrain’s noncommunicable diseases, about a third of deaths resulted from cardiovascular difficulties. However, these made up close to a fourth of deaths overall. These included ischemic heart disease, aortic aneurysm, stroke and hypertensive heart disease
- Diabetes, Urogenital, Blood and Endocrine Diseases
Noncommunicable diseases accounted for about 23 percent of deaths due to diseases in Bahrain. However, in past years it fell to about 17 percent. Some examples of these diseases included chronic kidney disease and diabetes mellitus.
Cancer made up about 15 percent of deaths due to disease in the country. Of these, breast and pancreatic cancer stood as some of the higher threats, while thyroid and uterine cancer fell closer to the bottom.
- Chronic Respiratory Diseases
These made up about six percent of deaths related to non-communicable disease. When considering Bahrain’s causes of death overall, this statistic fell somewhere between four and five percent. Other important non-communicable diseases included neurological disorders; mental and substance abuse disorders, digestive diseases, cirrhosis and musculoskeletal disorders.
Communicable, Maternal, Neonatal and Nutritional Diseases
In addition to those listed below, some of Bahrain’s communicable (transferable), maternal, neonatal and nutritional diseases in 2013 included nutritional deficiency, neglected tropical diseases and malaria.
- Diarrhea, Lower Respiratory, and other Common Infectious Diseases
These made up about half of the communicable, maternal, neonatal and nutritional diseases causing the death of people in Bahrain. However, in general, this number drastically fell to slightly over four percent. These also include diarrheal diseases, meningitis, whooping cough, tetanus and measles.
- Neonatal Disorders
Communicable, maternal, neonatal and nutritional diseases accounted for about a fourth of the deaths that occurred in 2013. However, in the overall picture of deaths due to disease in the country, these only attributed to slightly over two percent of deaths. An example of these includes preterm birth complications, as well as hemolytic disease and other neonatal jaundice.
- Other Communicable, Maternal, Neonatal and Nutritional Diseases
These kinds of diseases accounted for approximately 10 percent of deaths in 2013. However, in total these only caused less than one percent of deaths that occurred in Bahrain. Included among these were hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases (other than HIV).
- HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis
When looking at communicable maternal, neonatal and nutritional diseases, these diseases contributed to over nine percent of deaths in Bahrain. However, they have only led to less than one percent of deaths in 2013.
Vaccinations for Typhoid and Hepatitis A and B, are recommended for individuals traveling into Bahrain, as they collectively pose threats to tourists in forms like local water, foods and needles.
In spite of these diseases in Bahrain, the nation has taken many precautions, including the existence of a non-communicable disease component in its national health department. The nation has measures in place to improve diets and physical activity, as well as address dangers related to alcohol and tobacco use to avoid these non-communicable diseases. Also, 2015 data showed that 99 to 100 percent of citizens in Bahrain had enhanced sanitation and drinking water facilities available to them.
Furthermore, the nation reached many achievements in reducing deaths, which were measured in 1990 or 2000 and again in 2012 and 2013. These successes include decreases in the under-five mortality rate, HIV/AIDS-related deaths and mortality as a result of tuberculosis in HIV-negative individuals.
Statistics from 2014 show that slightly over 10 percent of Bahrain’s spending went toward health, while overall expenditure in this category factored in at five percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
Bahrain’s efforts to improve health and extend the longevity of citizen life will hopefully continue—and ultimately show even greater success as time passes.
– Maleeha Syed