As part of the former Soviet Union, Azerbaijan has had to develop and maintain its own health care system and standards. As of 1999, there were an estimated 3.6 doctors and 9.7 hospital beds per 1,000 people. In 1999, the total expenditure on health was estimated at 1.8% of GDP.
Azerbaijan's infant mortality rate for 2000 was 13 per 1,000 live births and the total fertility rate was 2.0 per woman. In 1998 the maternal mortality rate was 43 per 100,000 live births. As of 1999, the country immunized an estimated 99% of one-year-old children against diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus and 99% against polio.
The overall death rate in 2002 was estimated at 10 per 1,000 inhabitants. Thousands of lives were lost between 1989 and 1992 when the country was at war with Armenia. Few cases of AIDS have been reported in the last few years. In 1996, two cases were reported; the total number of people living with AIDS/HIV was under 500 in 1999. Diphtheria, tuberculosis, hepatitis A, and diarrheal and acute respiratory infections have been serious public health problems. There have also been outbreaks of anthrax, botulism, cholera, tetanus, and malaria. Measles and tuberculosis still remain in this country despite a high incidence of vaccination for one-year-old children. In 1999, the incidence of tuberculosis was 62 per 100,000 people.