Egypt Independent

22.8% of Egyptians are smokers: National Health Survey



 

According to a National Health Survey monitoring risk factors for non-communicable diseases in Egypt, around 22.8 percent of Egyptians are smokers.

The average monthly expenditure for each smoker on cigarettes is LE 410, which is a high percentage, compared to the global expenditure rates on smoking.

The results of the survey, announced at a conference organized by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, showed that the cost of 100 packs of manufactured cigarettes is equivalent to about 4.9 percent of the GNP per capital.

The conference called for the need to reduce smoking amongst all of society.

The survey referred to the growing phenomenon of smoking “shisha” pipes beside cigarettes, pointing out that the proportion of people who depend on the electronic cigarette does not exceed 0.2 percent.

As for healthy food, the survey said that about 90 percent of Egyptians do not eat enough healthy food that includes vegetables and fruit, which should be relied on daily.

Egyptians consume fruit and vegetables 3 or 4 days a week. Fruit and vegetables should be eaten several times a day. In Egypt, the highest rate of fruit and vegetable consumption does not exceed more than once daily.

The report warned of the danger of high salt consumption, which stands among Egyptians at 9 grams a day, whereas the average global rate does not exceed 5 grams a day.

Egyptians consume canned food up to 17 percent a day, which contain high amounts of salt, due to spending most of the day outside their homes.

The report also noted that 79 percent of Egyptians do not exercise regularly, but 47 percent do exercise by walking to their place of work or through housework.

About 63 percent of Egyptians are overweight, while about 35 percent are obese, according to the report.

For stress, the report said that about 29.5 percent of Egyptians suffer from high and low blood pressure. Only 37 percent of Egyptians rely on medical treatment while the rest do not get any treatment, which is a serious risk, the report said.

The report mentioned that about 15.5 percent of Egyptians suffer from diabetes, while about 6 percent are near-diabetic.

About 19 percent suffer from increased cholesterol. 91 percent of Egyptians do not undergo cholesterol tests, which is a huge neglect.

Head of the non-communicable diseases department at the Ministry of Health Ola Khairallah said that combating non-communicable diseases among Egyptians cannot solely be the responsibility of the Ministry of Health, as it requires effort by other state agencies and ministries to spread awareness of the risk of these diseases and the importance of relying on healthy food as well as conducting regular medical examinations.

She pointed out that fighting non-communicable diseases contributes to reducing the burden on hospitals and the rates of early deaths.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm