OIC Health Report 2019
Date: 17 December 2019

The 2019 edition of the OIC Health Report was launched during the 7th Islamic Conference of Health Ministers held on 15-17 December 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. H.E. Mr. Nebil DABUR, Director General of SESRIC, addressed the Conference and presented the main findings of the report.

The report evaluates the performance of OIC member countries by analyzing the latest trends in major health indicators at the OIC group level as well as at the individual country level. The report is mainly structured around the six thematic areas of cooperation identified under the OIC-SHPA 2014-2023; namely 1) Health System Strengthening; 2) Disease Prevention and Control; 3) Maternal, New-born and Child Health and Nutrition; 4) Medicines, Vaccines and Medical Technologies; 5) Emergency Health Response and Interventions; and 6) Information, Research, Education and Advocacy.

The report reveals that many OIC countries have made significant progress over the years to ensure healthy lives and promoting the well-being of their populations. Consequently, life expectancy at birth is on the rise while the child and maternal mortality rates have witnessed a significant decline along with decrease in incidence of communicable diseases and mortality associated with non-communicable diseases. However, even with these positive health trends, the OIC group still tends to lag behind the performance of other country groups on many fronts.

A striking reality, which the report highlights, is the levels of resources OIC countries are devoting to the health sector. As health expenditures in OIC countries accounted for only 4.4% of GDP and 8.5% of total government spending in 2016. In fact, over one third (37.4%) of health expenditures were financed through out of pocket spending. Meanwhile, density of health workers also remained well below the critical threshold (34.5) in OIC countries with only 8 physicians and 18 nurses and midwives per 10,000 people. This state of affairs necessitates that OIC member countries step up their efforts to enhance both intra-OIC and international cooperation to learn from each other’s experiences and support the development of effective and efficient healthcare systems.

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