Healthcare in Mozambique

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Almost all healthcare services are provided by the government's National Health Service. The army maintains its own health posts and two hospitals. Traditional healers continue to play a significant role.

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All medical products must be registered with the Ministry of Health and, due to currency constraints, Mozambique is entirely dependent on bilateral and multilateral donors for its drug needs. Between 1985-1995, only 39% of the population had access to healthcare services. As of 1999 total healthcare expenditure was estimated at 3.5% of GDP.

In 1993, there was one doctor per 36,225 people. As of 1999 there were 0.9 hospital beds per 1,000 people. The shortage of medical supplies and trained personnel has remained severe throughout Mozambique. In 1997, immunisation rates were as follows: tuberculosis, 84%; diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 61%; polio, 61%; and measles, 70%. The government pays no vaccination costs.

As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 36.4 and 25.1 per 1,000 people. Only 6% of married women ages 15 to 49 years used contraception as of 1999. Of all births in 199396, 20% were underweight. In 2000, the infant mortality rate was estimated at 129 per 1,000 live births and the under five mortality rate in 1999 was 172 per 1,000. The maternal mortality rate in 1989-95 skyrocketed to 1,500 per 100,000 live births; as of 1998, the rate was 1,100.

Since 1982, South African destabilisation of Mozambique has caused children's health to suffer. War has lead to the closure of 48% of the primary care network. The war has displaced over three million people and accounted for an estimated 500,000 childhood deaths between 1981-88. In addition, there were approximately 1.1 million civil war-related deaths between 1981 and 1992. Estimated average life expectancy was only 42 years in 2000.