Health Status in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Middle East and North Af-rica Countries: Implications for Global Health
Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the health status of the Iranians following the sustainable development goals’ (SDGs) introduction and the recent health reform implementation in Iran and to compare with those of the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) and global average.
Methods: This comparative study used secondary data to investigate socio-demographic and health status indicators. The sources included census, population-based surveys and death registries. Global and regional health status indicators were obtained from international databases including WHO, the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metric and Evaluation (IHME).
Results: Life expectancy and human development index improved following the reform implementation. Among causes of death, 74.6% were attributed to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). There was an increasing trend in risk factors for NCDs in Iran, while at the same time neonatal, infant and under-5 mortality rates reduced. Compared to the MENA, Iran has a lower maternal mortality ratio, neonatal, infant, and under-5 mortality rates, and a higher life expectancy. NCDs and road traffic injuries accounted for a larger portion of disability-adjusted life years in Iran compared to the MENA and worldwide.
Conclusion: Actions against communicable diseases and road traffic injuries are required together with continued efforts to address NCDs. Although based on the results, Iran has relatively high rankings, there is a need to develop a roadmap to accelerate achieving global health goals and SDGs targets.
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