Health Reasons for Rejection among 2,518 New Military Recruits in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A Cross-sectional Study

Hisham Ibrahim
2015 Epidemiology: Open Access  
This study examines health problems among military recruits in Saudi Arabia as part of work in the Medical Service Department of the Ministry of Defense to improve health care services and to raise health awareness among the people of the Kingdom. This study is part of wider work to investigate the health status of the Saudi Arabian population, and identifies areas where further development should be channelled. Methods: We adopted a cross-sectional design involving 2,518 men who were new
more » ... ry recruits and were screened over 4 months from July to September 2014 in the Al-Morooj health centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The results of the screening process were analysed using descriptive statistics and the Chi-squared test of association. Results: Of the screened recruits, 4.7% were carriers or affected by sickle cell disease, 3.2% suffered from colour blindness, and 0.6% tested positive for hepatitis B. 2.8% tested positive for illegal substances, with 90% of those testing positive for cannabis, and 10% for amphetamines. Conclusions: Hereditary health problems are still a major issue in Saudi Arabia, because of the culture of marriage within families. There are several programs operated by the government to reduce the burden of hereditary health problems and to raise awareness among the population, but these will take several years to show results. Other health programs to educate the public and increase awareness are needed. Funding for the health sector needs to be increased in line with other high income countries, with medical research taking a priority. Substance abuse is an increasing problem that needs to be tackled efficiently. Support and counselling programs for young people might improve the situation. Epidemiology: Open Access AlKhashan, et al., Epidemiology (sunnyvale) 2015, 5:S1
doi:10.4172/2161-1165.s1-001 fatcat:3qkvq53k2nbrzagfyqyqpxt6i4