Malaria is the most serious of the country's diseases, which also include leprosy, tuberculosis, filariasis, and venereal diseases. Malaria was reported in 10,377 cases in 1993, a decrease from 28,558 in 1990. In 1990, there were an estimated 200 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people reported. Safe water was available to 72% of Vanuatu's population during 1989–90.
Medical care is provided by 94 hospitals, health centers, and clinics administered by the Ministry of Health, assisted by the World Health Organization and a number of voluntary agencies. Local training schemes in basic community nursing are provided by Port-Vila hospitals and local clinics train health and sanitation orderlies. The country had 15 physicians in 1991. In 1997 there were 0.1 physicians and 2.6 nurses per 1,000 people.
There were 500 deaths of children under five years old in 1990–95. Only 12% of married women were using contraception in 1989–90. In 2002, the infant mortality rate was estimated at 59.6 per 1,000 live births. In the same year the estimated birth rate (24.8 per 1,000 people) far exceeded the general mortality rate (8.3 per 1,000 people). The fertility rate in that year was 3.1 children per woman. Average life expectancy was an estimated 61.3 years. The immunization rates for children under one were as follows in 1994: diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 74%; polio, 74%; measles, 53%; and tuberculosis, 86%.