It will be seen after this soccer World Cup if the Arab emirate Qatar will have managed to increase its tourist attraction to the Western world as was its objective or if it was counterproductive given the severe criticism in which it was involved for being a highly conservative society and not inclusive.
Qatar’s promotional objective, being the first Arab country to host the soccer world cup, was overshadowed by being shown to be intolerant of the LGBTQ+ community and lagging behind in terms of labor rights and gender equality.
The international organization Human Rights has been active in noting that in Qatar gay and LGBTQ+ people have no rights and are persecuted, tortured and imprisoned; that freedom of the press is restricted and that demonstrations and unions are not allowed.
All this weighs, but it is worth looking at the health indicators of this country that also reflect the progress of a society. And Qatar reveals chiaroscuro that reveals the stretch and loose of its opening.
Their life expectancy at birth is 80 years, a level very close to that of the most developed European countries. It registers a low maternal mortality (9 per 100,000 live births), which is a positive and contradictory indication in the face of the “male guardianship” that in Qatar forces women to ask permission from a man (their father, husband, uncle or brother) not only to get married, study abroad or work, but even to access reproductive health treatments or vital Papanicolaou tests to prevent cervical cancer. It is assumed that male guardianship was removed on paper, but in fact it continues without any change. Of course, the public health system subsidizes a wide range of cosmetic surgeries. “Women’s empowerment” was one of the pillars of social development in Qatar’s strategic plan between 2011 and 2016, but in the new strategic plan between 2018 and 2022 the point was removed.
Another positive indicator is its low infant mortality (6 per 1,000 live births), which reflects a good level of health coverage. In Mexico this rate is 14 per 1,000.
Of course, the fact that it is one of the richest countries in the world thanks to oil counts, with a real GDP per capita of $93,500, according to World Bank statistics. In this indicator it is only behind Liechtenstein, Monaco, Luxembourg, Singapore and Ireland.
Being a small country with a total population of less than three million, its per capita spending on health is the highest in the Eastern Mediterranean region, at $2,737 per year for each Qatari. As a percentage of GDP, it allocates 2.9% to health, a level close to Mexico’s but nominally much higher considering the size of its economy. Its per capita GDP is one of the highest in the world at $85,290.
Poverty data has not been reported and is estimated to be very low. But an important fact is that its population has tripled in the last decade due to the arrival of migrant workers; It is precisely in this segment where there are signs of inequality regarding quality of life.
To prepare to host the soccer World Cup, Qatar has recruited some two million foreign workers in the past decade, where it is unclear how much is being covered by the health system.
A revealing fact is the suicide rate: 6.6 per 100,000 inhabitants, the highest in the region. It is not surprising if intolerance is considered, for example, towards homosexual people who are persecuted and criminalized.
So with all the healthy campaigns like the one launched by the Qatar Ministry of Public Health and FIFA, with the support of the WHO with a new digital application to promote physical activity, healthy eating and improve the well-being of young people, to Qatar has a long way to go to be an open and progressive nation and let’s say a socially healthy one.
Crisis due to aseptic meningitis advances
The Cofepris authorities will still take several weeks to have results of the investigation around the so far 61 cases of aseptic meningitis in Durango that have already resulted in 12 deaths and another 12 serious people. The line is that all the cases agree that surgeries were recently performed. There are many unanswered questions. Was it due to a drug or another type of contaminated input? If so, where did it come from? And who are responsible? There are already 5 hospitals involved, operating rooms have been closed and there are batches of medication insured, particularly the anesthetic ‘bupivacaine’. The authorities must explain in detail the origin of this crisis and criminal complaints will already be filed. It is not going to be that it goes unpunished as it happened with the deaths from contaminated sodium heparin applied in 2020 at the Pemex hospital in Villahermosa, Tabasco.
Cuban Sovereign Vaccine Approved, And the Simic Smallpox?
The contrasts around the demands of the health regulator Cofepris to authorize vaccines in Mexico are really clear. With the Sovereign Cuban vaccine for Covid19, he did not want to be strict regarding the evidence on its efficacy and very quickly already gave it entry to be applied in the country, but what about the vaccine against Monkeypox; they simply continue to request more information from the pharmaceutical company Bavarian Nordic -ignoring that the rest of the world is acquiring more and more information- and with this it is time for the vulnerable population to continue to be prevented from immunizing against said virus. It is a consequence of the fact that the health agency is controlled by Undersecretary Hugo López-Gatell, who is clearly opposed to vaccinating Mexicans against monkeypox.
Bronchoscopy, an ally against lung cancer
In Mexico, more than 7,500 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year, mostly in an advanced stage, and the bad thing is that -according to the INER- 40% of them occur in non-smokers. Experts from the Cleveland Clinic point out that, in addition to carrying out constant check-ups and practicing healthy habits, bronchoscopy is the best ally for early detection of lung cancer and thus reducing the risk of death.
They said that this technological advance in robotic assistance has characteristics such as knowing exactly where the tip of the bronchoscope is located, showing a real image with a 3D visual dimension at all times, and thanks to this, it makes it possible to know with certainty where work is being done.
Comprehensive approach to HIV in Mexico
According to data from the Ministry of Health, from January to July of 2022, a total of 7,934 cases of HIV were diagnosed in Mexico. And in cumulative terms, the HIV Historical Report (HIV Epidemiological Surveillance System) for the second quarter of 2022 reports that Mexico City registers a total of 46,653 reported cases of HIV, followed by the State of Mexico with 34,405 and Veracruz with 31,866. in the last 39 years. The panorama is not flattering, and against this the pharmaceutical Gilead presents today the Platform “We Live Brave”, where experts will talk about the comprehensive approach to HIV in Mexico, and how the sum of efforts becomes highly relevant to make visible and act in favor of prevention, detection and treatment of this disease.
4 million at risk of blindness from diabetes
Among the visual pathologies caused by diabetes mellitus (DM) are cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, the latter being the most frequent cause of newly diagnosed blindness between 20 and 74 years of age with a prevalence of 31.5%. in the Mexican population, according to data from the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). There are innovative therapies that can counteract the impact of these pathologies, but if they are not treated, there is a risk that more than 4 million people in Mexico could lose their sight as a result of DM. This, considering the index of the joint population with a diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy, which is estimated to affect more than 2.5 million people and 1.5 million who suffer from glaucoma, according to data from the Mexican Retina Association and the IAPB.
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