Bolivia - Health

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Health conditions have been notably poor, owing to poor hygiene and an insufficient number of doctors and hospitals, especially in rural areas. The most common disorders are acute respiratory diseases, tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis, and Chagas' disease. In 1996, 618 per 100,000 people were diagnosed with malaria and in 1999 there were 238 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people. In 1995, cholera was reported in 2,293 cases. Malnutrition is a serious and growing problem, with 27% of children under five considered malnourished as of 2000. In the same year, 79% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 66% of the rural population had adequate sanitation. In the mid-1990s, there were more than 4,000 physicians and nearly 2,000 nurses. As of 1999, there were an estimated 1.3 physicians and 1.7 hospital beds per 1,000 people. Bolivia had 3,165 public and private health care facilities, with a total of 12,554 beds, as of 2002. The country's public health care expenditures as of 1999 equaled an estimated 6.5% of GDP. The 1997–2002 Strategic Health Plan was designed to ensure universal access to primary care through a system of basic insurance.

There was a birth rate of 31 per 1,000 people in 1999. Approximately 49% of married women (ages 15–49) were using contraception as of 2000. The government of Bolivia paid 65% of vaccination costs in 1995. In 1999, one-year-old children were immunized at the following rates: diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 78%, and measles, 79%. The infant mortality rate has declined from 117 per 1,000 live births in 1985 to 57 per 1,000 in 2000. As of 2000, an estimated 27% of all children were suffering from malnutrition. Life expectancy in 2000 was estimated at 63 years. The overall death rate was 8 per 1,000 people.

Health conditions in Bolivia have improved since the World Health Initiative Program in 1991. The Bolivian government has taken a greater role in the health of its citizens.

As of 1999 the number of people living with HIV/AIDS was estimated at 4,200 and deaths from AIDS that year were estimated at 380. HIV prevalence was 0.1 per 100 adults.

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