YCA Sandwell
YCA Sandwell
YCA Sandwell
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Health Profile

What are the views of the Yemeni community in Sandwell on issues that affect their health directly? Find out from a summary of the results of a detailed survey carried out in 2001.

Community Health Profile Details

In 2001/02 a survey was carried out on the Yemeni community within Sandwell.  The primary aims of the survey were:


To identify the health needs of the Yemeni community and to aid understanding of the difficulties they encounter in gaining access to health services.


To gather information to enable the YCA to promote healthy living as well as improve access to health services among the Yemeni community.

The Community Health Profile (CHP) consisted of a postal or face to face questionnaire covering health status and lifestyle as well as access to health information.  This methodology was adopted to overcome communication and literacy barriers.  The target sample was chosen subjectively to ensure that the CHP was as representative a sample of the community as possible.  A response rate of 86% was achieved through a gift voucher incentive for completed questionnaires, thus encouraging a high response rate

Summary of Findings

Age range of respondents:

16-75+ years
bullet Gender Balance:

46.5% female, 53.5% male
bullet Literacy/Language issues:

45.3% spoke little or no English

49.5% read little or no English

45.0% read little or no Arabic

Overall 22% illiteracy rate

bullet Employment:
69.5% not in regular employment.

Perceptions of Health Issues


Personal Health Perceptions:




59.0% described their health as good or very good

12.2% described their health as poor or very poor

(Respondents with limited language capabilities were less likely to describe their health as good or very good).


bullet Main Health Concerns:

32.5% reported long term illness, mainly:






back problems, and



20.0% had other health concerns, mainly:


weight problems


chronic tiredness


frequent bouts of insomnia

bullet Use of Medical Services:

Most commonly used services were:


Doctors (90.8%)


Chemist/Pharmacy (82.9%)

Least likely used services were specialists:


District Nurse (4.6%)


Chiropodist (2.0%)

This latter statistic raises questions concerning knowledge of how to access these services.

bullet Health Information Sources:

The main sources of health information were identified as:






Professional Advice

78.0% of respondents either have or would pick up health information directly from the YCA .


Home, Area and Health    
bullet Housing Issues:

67.3% of respondents live in terraced housing.

55.9% are owner-occupiers.

bullet Key Housing Concerns:

These imply poorly maintained terraced housing, as primary concerns included:




Poor garden facilities


Problems keeping houses warm.

bullet Neighbourhood Perceptions:

68.2% perceived the main problems in their area being related to crime and anti-social behaviour.

30.0% of respondents perceived the major problems as muggings and vandalism.

65.8% identified the main positive aspect of their neighbourhood as being friendly people and neighbours.


bullet Eating Habits:

46.0% felt food affected their health, of whom half identified putting on weight as a potential health risk.

Very few people identified potential risks related to disease or illness from food.

38.4% ate fruit every day, but 17.5% rarely or never ate fruit.

36.8% ate vegetables and/or salad every day.

The 55+ age group were most likely to eat fruit and vegetables on a regular basis.

Despite the above findings, 72.7% claimed that their diet was healthy.


Smoking and Drugs    
bullet Smoking and Drug Use:

27.7% of respondents regularly smoked tobacco.

14.3% of respondents regularly smoked the Sheesha.

44.5% of respondents regularly chewed Qat.  This rose to 75.0% in the Community Engagement Project.

5.6% claimed to have taken illegal drugs.

bullet Drug Health Perceptions:

31.8% of those who smoked stated that they had received professional advice on how to stop smoking.

49.3% claimed to be aware of the risks of chewing Qat.

40.8% claimed to be aware of the risks of smoking the Sheesha.


Family Health    
bullet Concerns relating to children:

The primary concerns related to school age children included:


Loss of religious belief (84.9%)


Bullying (74.2%)


Drugs (62.4%)

Only 47.5% of respondents felt that they were getting the help and information they needed to address these concerns.


Health Awareness    
bullet Understanding of Conditions:

49.7% of respondents knew how HIV/AIDS was transmitted.

53.7% of male respondents had not heard of testicular cancer.

bullet Understanding of Diagnoses:

Only 9.9% of male respondents had received information on self-examination for testicular cancer.

22.5% of females did not attend regular mammograms, despite being called.

57.5% of respondents were unaware of the purpose of mammograms.

Just over half (51.6%) of females attended cervical screenings.

34.4% of females were unaware of why cervical screening was carried out.

65.8% of females did not carry out self breast examinations, with 42.9% having never been instructed on how to do this.


Awareness of Facilities/Services    
bullet Awareness of Issues:

86.4% of respondents were unaware that they could borrow special aids or have adaptations made to their homes to assist with independent living.

In the 55+ age group, the following proportions were unaware they were entitled to the named services:


Ring and Ride (90%)


Meals on Wheels (95%)


Repairs on prescription (85%)

23.8% of respondents claimed to be hearing impaired.

62.6% of respondents did not attend annual eye tests.

52.9% of respondents did not attend annual dental checks.

6.6% of respondents claimed to be carers.

62.7% of respondents did not have a fire or smoke alarm fitted at home.


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