Maldives - Health

As of 1995, there were an estimated 0.4 physicians, 1.1 nurses, and 1.9 midwives per 1,000 people. There is a relatively modern 86-bed hospital in Malé, backed by a 12-bed regional hospital and medical rescue services in the outlying atolls and the new Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (200 beds).

In 2002 the estimated fertility rate was 5.4. Between 1976– 1994, 30% of children under five were underweight. The under five mortality rate has improved greatly during the last decades. The rate was 78 in 1994 but 258 in 1960. As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 37.4 and 7.86 per 1,000 people. Life expectancy was estimated at 62.9 years as of 2002 and the infant mortality rate was 61.9 per 1,000 live births. In 1994, 96% of the country's children had been vaccinated against measles. In 1996, five AIDS cases were reported. In 1994, there were 249 tuberculosis cases and in 1993, 29 malaria cases.

Safe water is available to urban dwellers. Four desalination plants were completed by 1988 and a nationwide project is providing sewage systems to the atolls. Between 1994–1995, 88% of the population had access to safe water; 40% had access to adequate sanitation. Malaria and diarrheal diseases have been drastically reduced. Water-borne disease epidemics have occurred, often caused by contamination of wells.

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