Health in Egypt
|Life in Egypt|
Egypt faces a number of ongoing health challenges.
The Egyptian Ministry of Health is the government body responsible for health in Egypt.
Water supply and sanitation
There are conflicting figures about the number of people with access to safe water, and especially the number of people with access to sanitation. According to the official UN figures used to monitor the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, 99% of Egyptians had access to an improved water source and 94% had access to improved sanitation in 2008.
|Access to Water and Sanitation in Egypt (2010)|
(43% of the population)
(57% of the population)
|Sewage||n/a||n/a||50% (2006 census)|
Soakaway latrines, which are common in rural areas, often do not work properly due to the high groundwater table, infrequent emptying and cracks in the walls. Thus sewage leaks out and contaminates the surrounding streets, canals, and groundwater. Trucks that empty latrines and septic tanks do not necessarily discharge septage into wastewater treatment plants, but rather dump the content in the environment.
According to the government's National Research Center, 40 percent of Cairo's inhabitants do not get water for more than three hours per day and three large districts do not receive any piped water. In 2008 demonstrations concerning this issue took place in Suez, where 500 people blocked a main road to Cairo. According to a survey carried out prior to 2006 in governorate of Fayoum, 46% of households complained about low water pressure, 30% about frequent water cuts and 22% complained that water is not available during day time. These problems lead many people to use water from canals which could be hazardous to health.
It is estimated that each year about 17,000 children die from diarrhea. One reason is that drinking water quality is often below standards. Some water treatment plants are not maintained properly and are thus inefficient in removing parasites, viruses and other parasitic microorganisms. In 2009, a study by the Ministry of Health showed that drinking water for half a million people in Asiut was unfit for human consumption. As of June 2011, nothing had been done to address the problem. Chlorination systems of wells, which had been installed years ago because high levels of bacteria had been detected in the groundwater, failed for lack of maintenance and have been shut down so that untreated water is provided to the residents.
The 2014 CIA estimated average life expectancy in Egypt was 73.45 years.
Egypt has particularly high rates of Hepatitis C (22%), one of the highest worldwide (Pakistan (4.8%), China (3.2%)). It is believed that the high prevalence in Egypt is linked to a now-discontinued mass-treatment campaign for schistosomiasis, using improperly sterilized glass syringes.
With less than 1 percent of the population estimated to be HIV-positive, Egypt is a low-HIV-prevalence country. Unsafe behaviors among most-at-risk populations and limited condom use among the general population place Egypt at risk of a broader epidemic. According to the National AIDS Program (NAP), there were 1,155 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Egypt by the end of 2007. UNAIDS estimates for 2005 were higher, putting the number of HIV-positive Egyptians at 5,300.
Smoking in Egypt is prevalent, with 19 billion cigarettes smoked annually in Egypt making it the largest cigarette market in the Arab world. Inside cafes, hookah (shisha) smoking is common. As of 2012 smoking in Egypt has reached an all-time high with an estimated twenty percent, ten million people, regularly using tobacco products.
In 1996, Egypt had the highest average BMI in the world at 26.3. In 1998, 1.6% of 2- to 6-year-olds, 4.9% of 6- to 10-year-olds, 14.7% of 10- to 14-year-olds, and 13.4% of 14- to 18-year-olds were obese. 45% of urban women and 20% of the rural population were obese.
Obesity rates rose as oils, fat, and sugars were more regularly consumed, beginning in the 1990s. The cultural appreciation of heavier female bodies is a factor. Another explanation is the degree to which food is the center of social events and special occasions. Heavy consumption of starchy and fatty foods without the presence of a health-conscious exercise culture is a major factor. As parents teach this lifestyle to their children, the prevalence of childhood obesity increases. Today, Egyptian teenagers drink three times as much soda as milk. Ten percent of males and females drink five or more cans of soda a day, which can lead to early osteoporosis in women in the future. These food habits are reinforced by junk food advertisements and the availability of unhealthy food at supermarkets. As a result, teenagers are three times as likely to be overweight than they were 20 years ago.
According to Egypt’s National Council for Battling Drug Addiction, the use of recreational drugs among residents of Cairo over the age of 15 has rocketed from 6% to 30% since the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.
Egypt's healthcare system has both a public and private sector. Public health coverage is offered through the Health Insurance Organization (HIO), which covers about 58% of Egyptians, and the Ministry of Health, which covers 17%. Government-run medical facilities provide treatment free of charge. There are also private insurance options, and a network of private healthcare providers and medical facilities. Many mosques also operate their own clinics, especially in the large cities. Medical care offered by the public health insurance system is generally of poor quality. Government hospitals are known to be rife with negligence and generally provide minimal care. Only about 6% of Egyptians covered by the HIO actually utilize its services due to dissatisfaction with the level of services it funds. In 2008/2009, 72% of health expenditure in Egypt was paid out of pocket by people seeking treatment. Egypt is currently working on an overhaul of its public healthcare system to improve its quality.
- World Health Organization; UNICEF. "Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. Coverage Estimates Improved Drinking Water.". Retrieved 2012-10-19.
- United Nations, General Assembly, Human Rights Council (5 July 2010). "Report of the independent expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque Addendum Mission to Egypt" (PDF). pp. 12–13. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
- New York Times:Pipes but no water: A need grows in Egypt, by Daniel Williams, September 30, 2008, Retrieved on 2011-07-21
- National Water Research Center, Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (2007): Actualizing the Right to Water: An Egyptian Perspective for an Action Plan, Shaden Abdel-Gawad, retrieved on 2012-04-30
- Noha Donia, Assistant Professor Engineering Dep.Institute of Environmental Studies and Research:SURVEY OF POTABLE WATER QUALITY PROBLEMS IN EGYPT, Eleventh International Water Technology Conference (2007), Sharm el-Sheikh, p. 1051, retrieved on 2011-07-21
- "Drinking water in Asyut unfit for human consumption". 4 August 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
- Habi Center for Environmental Rights (1 June 2011). "Report: 80% of Assiut residents drink unclean water". Retrieved 23 July 2011.
- "CIA - The World Factbook Life Expectancy". Cia.gov. Retrieved 2014-06-25.
- "Hepatitis C". World Health Organization (WHO). June 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
- Alter, MJ (2007-05-07). "Epidemiology of hepatitis C virus infection" (PDF). World journal of gastroenterology : WJG 13 (17): 2436–41. doi:10.3748/wjg.v13.i17.2436. PMID 17552026.
- "Health Profile: Egypt". United States Agency for International Development (March 2008). Accessed September 7, 2008. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Yolande Knell (9 June 2010). "Egypt Introduces Alexandria Smoking Ban". BBC News. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
- Egypt Global Adult Tobacco Survey. "Tobacco Use in Egypt" (PDF). Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- Martorell, R (2000). Obesity in Women from Developing Countries.
- Galal, Osman M (2002). The Nutrition Transition in Egypt: Obesity, Undernutrition, and the Food Consumption Context. p. 147.
- El-Noshokaty, Amira (2003). Fighting Fat.
- Reem, Leila. What We Eat.
- http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21583671-north-african-governments-struggle-stem-illegal-flow-arms-and-drugs-boom Trafficking in north Africa: Boom boom