Health in Guinea
Guinea faces a number of ongoing health challenges.
Guinea has been reorganizing its health system since the Bamako Initiative of 1987 formally promoted community-based methods of increasing accessibility of drugs and health care services to the population, in part by implementing user fees. The new strategy dramatically increased accessibility through community-based healthcare, resulting in more efficient and equitable provision of services. A comprehensive strategy was extended to all areas of health care, with subsequent improvement in health indicators and improvement in health care efficiency and cost.
Ethnographic research conducted in rural and urban areas of the Republic of Guinea explored perceived distinctions between biomedical and traditional health practices and found that these distinctions shape parental decisions in seeking infant health care, with 93% of all health expenditure taking place outside the state sector.
In June 2011, the Guinean government announced the establishment of an air solidarity levy on all flights taking off from national soil, with funds going to UNITAID to support expanded access to treatment for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. Guinea is among the growing number of countries and development partners using market-based transactions taxes and other innovative financing mechanisms to expand financing options for health care in resource-limited settings.
Lacking a sufficient response from the international community during the Ebola outbreak, the health infrastructure was augmented through laboratories and hospital facilities through non-governmental actors such as Doctors without Borders, UC Rusal, or the Ebola Private Sector Mobilisation Group (EPSMG).
The 2014 CIA estimated average life expectancy in Guinea was 59.60 years.
In 2014 there was an outbreak of the Ebola virus in Guinea. In response, the health ministry banned the sale and consumption of bats, thought to be carriers of the disease. Despite this measure, the virus eventually spread from rural areas to Conakry.
An estimated 170,000 adults and children were infected at the end of 2004. Surveillance surveys conducted in 2001 and 2002 show higher rates of HIV in urban areas than in rural areas. Prevalence was highest in Conakry (5%) and in the cities of the Forest Guinea region (7%) bordering Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
HIV is spread primarily through multiple-partner heterosexual intercourse. Men and women are at nearly equal risk for HIV, with young people aged 15 to 24 most vulnerable. Surveillance figures from 2001–2002 show high rates among commercial sex workers (42%), active military personnel (6.6%), truck drivers and bush taxi drivers (7.3%), miners (4.7%), and adults with tuberculosis (8.6%).
Several factors are fueling the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Guinea. They include unprotected sex, multiple sexual partners, illiteracy, endemic poverty, unstable borders, refugee migration, lack of civic responsibility, and scarce medical care and public services.
Malnutrition is a serious problem for Guinea. A 2012 study reported high chronic malnutrition rates, with levels ranging from 34% to 40% by region, as well as acute malnutrition rates above 10% in Upper Guinea’s mining zones. The survey showed that 139,200 children suffer from acute malnutrition, 609,696 from chronic malnutrition and further 1,592,892 suffer from anemia. Degradation of care practices, limited access to medical services, inadequate hygiene practices and a lack of food diversity explain these levels.
Maternal and child healthcare
The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Guinea is 680. This is compared with 859.9 in 2008 and 964.7 in 1990. The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 146 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 29. In Guinea the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is 1 and the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women is 1 in 26.
- Mohamed Saliou Camara (2007). Le pouvoir politique en Guinée sous Sékou Touré. Editions L'Harmattan. p. 273. ISBN 2-296-03299-0.
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