Mongolia has launched a unique mass health screening programme to pre-emptively test the entire population for major diseases within 12 months. The government hopes the annual programme would promote health literacy and identify serious ailments before they became costly.
Some 800,000 of the 3.4 million population had already undergone a comprehensive set of health assessments, including blood work, X-rays, and other diagnostic tests, to detect a range of conditions, from cancer to cardiovascular disease.
It has a heavy burden of alcohol abuse disorders, heart disease, tuberculosis and viral hepatitis, and suffers from the highest liver and stomach cancer rates in the world.
The new healthcare programme, which screens the population by age group and is funded by the National Health Insurance scheme, is unique in the Asia-Pacific region in its scope and scale.
It covers a vast range of assessments for mental health, diabetes, glucose levels, Hepatitis B and C, cervical and esophageal cancers. The programme, which is also being supported by the World Health Organization, includes an electrocardiogram test and ultrasounds of the abdomen, thyroid and breasts.
Early results have shown that digestive organ issues, cancer, and precancer disease are high among adults in the city, while tooth disease is also high, especially among nomadic children. Of the cancers diagnosed, 20 per cent have been linked to the stomach.
Mongolia managed to maintain one of the lowest morbidity rates from Covid-19 in the world.