Health in Botswana

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

Healthcare system[edit]

Botswana provides universal healthcare to all citizens through a public healthcare system, but privately-run healthcare is also available. The government operates 98% of all medical facilities. There is a network of clinics and health posts spread throughout the country operated by the Ministry of Health, faith-based organizations, and mining companies to provide basic healthcare. There are also about 800 mobile health services providing care to people in remote areas. For a general check-up, citizens are charged 5 pula, unless they are under five or over 65, in which case check-ups are free. The network of public hospitals is organized between primary hospitals, which function as general hospitals and equipped to deal with most diseases and immediate threats to health, district hospitals, which have more beds and are equipped to deal with more serious medical issues, and referral hospitals, which are highly advanced facilities equipped to deal with specialized problems. There are also two private hospitals in the country. The government pays for the treatment of patients referred abroad for medical procedures.[2][3][4]

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.[5]


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]

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. 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.[6]

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. ^ The State of Nursing and Nursing Education in Africa: A Country-by-country Review, Sigma Theta Tau (2012)
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "CIA - The World Factbook Life Expectancy". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  6. ^ "The State Of The World's Midwifery". United Nations Population Fund. Retrieved August 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)