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Healthcare in Senegal
 
 
 

As with the rest of Africa, the Senegalese people have long used traditional medicines for health-related issues. For example, in Yoff, mental illnesses are treated with a traditional ceremony, the ndeup. However, these often elaborate methods have not been able to stop large epidemics and famines, which have decimated Senegal many times in the past. During the 19th century, France laid the foundations of a modern healthcare system in Senegal, if only to protect its own colonists. This healthcare system was particularly focused on issues of hygiene. The advent of French West Africa (the AOF) in 1918 accompanied the ongoing development of an effective health care system in Senegal.

In 1905, the Indigenous Medical Assistance (AMI) initiative was created. It is charged with providing medical care to the population, as well as offering people an awareness of the importance of hygiene. The AMI scheme also promotes the vaccination and protection of mothers and children, in order to curb epidemics.

In 1990, there were 407 doctors, 200 pharmacists, 58 dentists, 474 midwives, and 562 nurses. As of 1999, there were an estimated 0.1 physicians and 0.4 hospital beds per 1,000 people. As of 2000, 78% of the total population had access to safe drinking water and 70% had adequate sanitation. As of 1999, total healthcare expenditure was estimated at 4.5% of GDP.

Major health problems include measles and meningitis along with such water-related diseases as malaria, trypanosomiasis, onchocerciasis and schistosomiasis. There were approximately 258 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people in 1999. Malnutrition was prevalent in 23% of all children under age five as of 2000. Goiter was present in 41 of 100 school-age children in 1996. Immunisation rates for children up to one year old in 1997 were: tuberculosis, 80%; diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 65%; polio, 65%; and measles, 65%. Infant mortality was 60 per 1,000 live births in 2000; maternal mortality was 560 per 100,000 live births in 1998. As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 37 and 8.1 per 1,000 people. In 2000, 11% of married women (ages 15 to 49) used contraception. The total fertility rate in the same year was 5.1 children per woman living through her childbearing years. In 2000, life expectancy was 52 years.

At the end of 2001, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS was estimated at 27,000 (including 0.5% of the adult population) and deaths from AIDS that year were estimated at 2,500. HIV prevalence in 1999 was 1.8 per 100 adults.

 

 
 

 



 


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