Samoa - Health

The Department of Health oversees health care on the islands. The country is divided into 14 health districts, each under a medical officer. In 1990, there were 50 physicians in the country. In 1996 there were 0.3 physicians, 1.6 nurses, and 0.04 dentists per 1,000 people. District nurses are stationed at strategic points throughout the islands. Child health clinics, particularly clinics for young children and infants, are a regular feature of their work. In 1991, 91% of children were vaccinated against measles. A mobile dental clinic operates in the villages, while all schools in Apia are visited at regular intervals by a team of dental practitioners.

Diabetic retinopathy is common in Polynesian Samoans. The increase in diabetes in recent decades is linked the Westernization of the Samoan diet. The life expectancy was estimated at 69.8 years as of 2002. During the same year, the infant mortality rate was an estimated 30.7 per 1,000 births. As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 15.5 and 6.4 per 1,000 people.

The immunization rates for children under age one in 1995 were as follows: diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 95%; polio, 95%; measles, 98%; and tuberculosis, 98%. In 1994, there were 18 reported cases of tuberculosis.

In 1994, nearly 53% of men and 18.6% of women were smokers. Only four AIDS cases were reported in 1995.

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Jan 11, 2010 @ 8:20 pm
well written, but should include more info on the health issues they face... what healing practices they face...

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