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16 September 2016 07:35 am

Life expectancy in Qatar highest in the region

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Qatar has the highest life expectancy rate in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, according to a latest international health report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

‘World Health Statistics 2016 – Monitoring for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’ report has estimated life expectancy in the country as 78.2 years, which is higher compared to more than 20 countries in the region, including other GCC states. The report also shows that the average life expectancy of women in Qatar (80 years) is higher by about two-and-a-half years, compared to men (77.4 years).

The World Health Statistics series is WHO’s annual compilation of health statistics for its 194 member states. World Health Statistics 2016 focuses on health related SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and associated targets. It represents an initial effort to bring together available data on SDG health-related indicators. At present due to the absence of official indicators, measures such as (healthy) life expectancy are used in the report to provide a general assessment of the situation. World Health Statistics 2016 has measured life expectancy based on each country’s mortality rates at all ages, and all health and health-related programmes contribute to it.

The report shows that all GCC states have a high life expectancy rate. The UAE comes next to Qatar with a life expectancy of 77.1 years, followed by Bahrain (76.9), Oman (76.6), Kuwait (74.7) and Saudi Arabia (74.5). The report suggests that Qatar has the highest proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel (100%) and the highest skilled health professionals density per 10,000 population in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. 

Under-five mortality and neonatal mortality rates per 100,000 live births is 8.3 and maternal mortality ratio per 100,000 live births is 13 in Qatar.  Road traffic mortality rate (per 100,000 population) is 15, which is less compared to neighbouring countries such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman. 

“The data shown represent official WHO statistics based on the evidence available in early 2016. They have been compiled primarily using publications and databases produced and maintained by WHO or United Nations groups of which WHO is a member. A number of statistics have been derived from data produced and maintained by other international organisations,” according to the report. 

The global average increase in life expectancy at birth since 2000 exceeds the overall average rate of life expectancy increase achieved by the best-performing countries over the past century. The world as a whole is catching up with those countries and improvements in outcomes for all major causes of deaths have contributed to these huge gains. (Source)