Health in Botswana

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The government of Botswana stresses primary health care with emphasis on disease prevention and healthy living. In 2013, about 25% of the population were infected with HIV/AIDS.[1]

Health infrastructure[edit]

High-quality medical care is available in Gaborone, the capital and largest city of Botswana. Gaborone has hospitals with adequately-equipped emergency rooms and trained physicians. There are also private medical facilities in Gaborone, adequate for simple medical problems.

Outside of Gaborone medical care is rudimentary. Professional private rescue services operate air and ground ambulances throughout the country, but care is only rendered after a patient's ability to pay has been established, and response times are slow in lightly populated areas.[2]

In 2004, there were an estimated 241 nurses, 29 physicians and 2 dentists per 100,000 people. In 1995, 70% of the population had access to safe water and 55% of the population had access to sanitation. Public health teams conduct tuberculosis and malaria control campaigns.

Health status[edit]

Life Expectancy[edit]

The 2014 CIA estimated average life expectancy in Botswana was 54.06 years.[3]


Approximately 33% of married women (ages 15 to 49) report using contraception.

Endemic diseases[edit]

There is a high risk of malaria in the northern half of Botswana, including the Okavango Delta, from November to June.

Infectious diseases[edit]

In 1999, there were 702 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people.


Main article: HIV/AIDS in Botswana

The HIV/AIDS prevalence was 37.30 per 100 adults in 2003. In 2013, about 25% of the population were infected with AIDS/HIV.[1]

In 2004, there were approximately 350,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. There were an estimated 33,000 deaths from AIDS in 2003. The rapid transmission of HIV/AIDS in Botswana has been due to three main factors: the position of women in society, particularly their lack of power in negotiating sexual relationships; cultural attitudes to fertility; and social migration patterns.


In 2000, 17% of children under five years of age were considered malnourished.

Maternal and child healthcare[edit]

In June 2011, the United Nations Population Fund released a report on The State of the World's Midwifery. It contained new data on the midwifery workforce and policies relating to newborn and maternal mortality for 58 countries. The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Botswana is 190. This is compared with 518.8 in 2008 and 236.8 in 1990. The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 59 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 38. The aim of this report is to highlight ways in which the Millennium Development Goals can be achieved, particularly Goal 4 – Reduce child mortality and Goal 5 – improve maternal health. In Botswana the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is unavailable and the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women is 1 in 180.[4]

In 1999, immunized children one year of age were as follows: diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 90%; and measles, 86%.


  1. ^ a b "HIV & Aids in Botswana". AVERT International HIV & Aids Charity. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Learn about your destination, retrieved 7 June 2014 
  3. ^ "CIA - The World Factbook Life Expectancy". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  4. ^ "The State Of The World's Midwifery". United Nations Population Fund. Retrieved August 2011.