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Health has been given high priority in the development of the country to meet the demands of its citizens. Such diseases as malaria, tuberculosis and the eye disease, trachoma, as well as dysentery were prevalent throughout the Sultanate. There was a lack of trained Omani doctors and nurses. In the early stages of development all healthcare professionals had to be recruited from afar.

Now there are 51 hospitals, 5 polyclinics and 115 health centres throughout the Sultanate. Omani doctors, trained at the University where there is a hospital, and other trained and qualified abroad, are now taking their places in the state medical system. Currently 50 trained and qualified Omani doctors are taking up posts annually and this will increase to 80 new doctors annually by 1997 and 100 annually by the year 2000. In the 1980s a mass immunisation programme for children was started, and later expanded to immunise children against tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, poliomyelitis, measles and rubella.

Trachoma, endemic among the rural population, is being energetically tackled. Remarkable progress have been achieved in the fight against malaria, prevalent throughout the Sultanate. By means of a simple and effective control, cases of malaria in some regions were reduced from 4,946 cases in 1990 to nil in 1994. The aim is to eliminate malaria completely from the Sultanate by the end of the century. In the 1990 a national diabetes programme was launched to cops with a medical problem which is expected to grow with the increased longevity in the life of the population.






(C) 9/1997 Abdulkarim K. Sonya AL-Zadjali