Saudi Arabia has shared insights on the impact of its Health Transformation Program, including that average life expectancy rose to 77.6 years in 2023 from 74 years in 2016.
The program’s focus on early detection of diseases was highlighted as a major contributor to this progress.
It shared that in 2023, over five million people were screened for obesity, resulting in more than one million cases being detected.
Further, more than one million people were screened for diabetes, resulting in approximately 11,000 cases being detected.
A total of 160,000 women were also screened for breast cancer, resulting in 654 cases being detected.
The Saudi health transformation program, it was shared, aims to achieve several objectives, including improving access to healthcare, enhancing the quality and efficiency of services, and promoting prevention against health and traffic risks.
The program is working to achieve these objectives through several transformative initiatives, including promoting a culture of walking, reducing salt levels in food, disclosing calorie content in fast food, developing a national health insurance system, and improving the performance of hospitals and their staff.
It was noted that early detection of diseases is important as it allows for treatment in the early stages when the disease is more likely to be successfully treated, and the risk of complications is lower.
It also helps to reduce healthcare costs, as the costs of treating diseases in the early stages are much lower than treating advanced diseases.