Kazakhstan - Health

Under restructuring of the health care system, roughly half of Kazakhstan's hospitals, mainly facilities in rural areas, were closed between 1990 and 1997 and the number of acute-care hospital beds was decreased by 44%. As of 1999, the rural health care network, which had deteriorated due to lack of funds, was in the midst of reorganization. As of 1999, there were an estimated3.5 physicians and 8.5 hospital beds per 1,000 people. As of 1999 total health care expenditure was estimated at 5.5% of GDP.

The average life expectancy in 2000 was 65 years. The total fertility rate was two children per woman during her childbearing years, and the infant mortality rate was 21 per 1,000 live births. For every 100,000 live births, 70 women died during pregnancy or in childbirth in 1998. More than half of married women ages 15–49 (66%) used some form of contraceptive as of 2000. The crude birth rate as of 2002 was estimated at 17.8 per 1,000 inhabitants. Major causes of death per 100,000 people in 1990 were communicable diseases and maternal/perinatal causes, 86; noncommunicable diseases, 700; and injuries, 103. There were 130 reported cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people in 1999. In 1990–94, immunization rates for children up to one year old were: tuberculosis, 87%; diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 80%; polio, 75%; and measles, 72%. As of 1999, figures for DPT and measles were, respectively, 98% and 99%. A majority (67%) of children under five suffer from some form of anemia (1995).

As of 1999, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS was estimated at 2,500 and deaths from AIDS that year were estimated at fewer than 100. HIV prevalence was 0.04 per 100 adults. Major environmental health concerns include industrial pollution in the east, the former nuclear facilities in the Semipalatinsk region, and ecological threats in the Aral Sea region.

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