Health Reasons for Rejection among 2,518 New Military Recruits in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A Cross-sectional Study
|Hisham Ibrahim AlKhashan1, Osama Abdelhay2*, Mohammed Sroor AlHarbi1, Zuwayed Abdulla AlZuwayed1, Umar Yaqoub2, Turki Nassar AlNassar1, Mohammed Ahmed AlShehri1 and Fahad Hassan AlJuraisi1|
|1Department of Family and Community Medicine, PSMMC, Riyadh, KSA|
|2Research Unit, Department of Family and Community Medicine, MSD, Exit 11, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia|
|Corresponding Author :||Osama Abdelhay
Research Unit, Department of Family and Community Medicine
MSD, Exit 11, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
E-mail: [email protected]
|Rec date: Feb 12, 2015; Acc date: March 24, 2015; Pub date: Mar 28, 2015|
|Citation: AlKhashan HI, Osama Abdelhay O, AlHarbi MS, AlZuwayed ZA, Yaqoub U, et al. (2015) Health Reasons for Rejection among 2,518 New Military Recruits in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A Cross-sectional Study. Epidemiology (sunnyvale) S1:001. doi:10.4172/2161-1165.S1-001|
|Copyright: © 2015 AlKhashan HI, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permitsunrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.|
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Background: 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 military 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.