Tunisia - Health

In 1991, Tunisia had 4,482 physicians, 913 dentists, and 1,252 midwives. In 1990, there were 19,837 nurses. As of 1993, the population per physician was 1,549. In 1992, there were 12 hospital beds per 1,000 people. Free health services are available to about 70% of the population, with about 90% of the population having access to health care services as of 1993. As of 1999, there were an estimated 0.7 physicians and 1.7 hospital beds per 1,000 people. As of 1999 total health care expenditure was estimated at 5.1% of GDP.

Health conditions have shown significant improvement in recent years, although diet and sanitation remain deficient. Epidemics have virtually disappeared and the incidence of contagious diseases has been considerably reduced. In 1994, there were 2,376 cases of tuberculosis reported and 1,597 cases of measles the same year. In 1999, there were 37 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people. Immunization rates for children up to one year old during 1990–95 were: tuberculosis, 75%; diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 90%; polio, 90%; and measles, 89%. Rates for DPT and measles were, respectively, 96% and 84% in 1999.

The government supports a family planning program. As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 16.8 and 5 per 1,000 people. About 60% of married women (ages 15 to 49) used contraception as of 2000. The fertility rate in 2000 was 2.1 children per woman surviving her childbearing years. Infant mortality was 26 per 1,000 live births in 2000 and average life expectancy was 72 years. Maternal mortality was 70 per 100,000 live births in 1998.

About 260 AIDS cases were reported in 1996, an increase from the 46 cases reported in 1994.

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