Health in Morocco
Morocco became an independent country in 1956. At that time there was only 400 private practitioners and 300 public health physicians in the entire country. By 1992, the government thoroughly improved their health care service and quality. It was made available to over 70% of the population. Programs and courses to teach health and hygiene have been introduced to inform parents and children on how to correctly care for their own and their family’s health. The first health care policy in Morocco was devised in 1959, with majority of the free healthcare services and management focused on the general public. The State provides funding and administration. The Ministry of Health runs the National Institutes and Laboratories, Basic Care Health Network and the Hospital Network, the Defence department owns and runs its own hospitals, and local governments run City health services. The Healthcare System is made up of AMO (Mandatory Health Insurance). AMO is split in to two sections; ‘La CNSS’ (Private) and ‘La CNOPS’(Public). Furthermore, there is also RAMED. RAMED is a health insurance program designed to support the low socioeconomic population from financial tragedy due to health related issues. The Moroccan health care system has four layers, the first being ‘primary healthcare’. This includes clinics, health centres and local hospitals for public healthcare and infirmaries and medical offices for private healthcare. The second section includes provincial and prefectural hospitals for public health and specialised clinics and offices for private health. The third area includes hospitals in all major cities and forth includes university hospitals. These centres have the most advanced equipment.
According to the United States government, Morocco has inadequate numbers of physicians (0.5 per 1,000 people) and hospital beds (1.0 per 1,000 people) and poor access to water (82 percent of the population) and sanitation (75 percent of the population). The health care system includes 122 hospitals, 2,400 health centres, and 4 university clinics, but they are poorly maintained and lack adequate capacity to meet the demand for medical care. Only 24,000 beds are available for 6 million patients seeking care each year, including 3 million emergency cases. The health budget corresponds to 1.1 percent of gross domestic product and 5.5 percent of the central government budget.
In 2001 the principal causes of mortality in the urban population were circulatory system diseases (20.4 percent); perinatal diseases (9.3 percent); cancer (8.5 percent); endocrinological, nutritional, and metabolic diseases (7.6 percent); respiratory system diseases (6.9 percent); and infectious and parasitic diseases (4.7 percent).
In 2004 the minister of health announced that the country had eradicated a variety of childhood diseases, specifically diphtheria, polio, tetanus, and malaria, but other diseases continue to pose challenges. According to estimates for 2013, 21,000 people or approximately 0.16 percent of the population between the ages of 15 and 49 was infected with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS).
UNAIDS (Joined United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) have stated that around 270 000 people in the Middle East are currently living with HIV. Research from between 2001-2012 have shown that adults and children living with HIV had increased significantly by 73%. The predominant cause of HIV transmissions, are caused by the lack of knowledge and education to help prevent the likely spread. Treatment services are also lacking significantly in the Middle East to help treat the infection before passing in on. Research is showing that particularly in Morocco, 89% of HIV infections are amongst men having sexual intercourse with other men, female sex workers and shared contaminated needles. New research is revealing that Morocco’s newest HIV infections are amongst females with three quarters receiving it from their husbands.
Obesity is linked to a greater availability of food, particularly from the West, and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle in urban areas. A woman who has a low level of schooling or no education in urban areas is significantly more likely to be obese. She, along with the general public, are not aware of the medical conditions that result from obesity. Rather, female fatness is embraced as it "is viewed as a sign of social status and is a cultural symbol of beauty, fertility, and prosperity". Being thin is a sign of sickness or poverty.
Maternal and Child Health Care
By the beginning of 2001 60% of births were taking place in both public and private health facilities while the rest happened at home. Maternal morality was 227 for 100,000 live births, and neonatal morality was 27 for 1000 live births. The national population and family health survey showed that in 2003 the most common barriers in accessibility to emergency care were financial, for 74% of women, the distance to a health facility, for 60%, and transport, for 46%. In 2007 the Ministry of Health recognised the problem of maternal and child morality. This lead the ministry to implement the Maternal Morality Strategy action plan 2008-12 who’s aim was to reduce the Maternal Morality Rate (MMR) from 227 to 50 deaths per 100,000 births. There were three points of improvement to help them try and achieve their goal. The first was to reduce any barriers preventing women from accessing emergency services. The second was to enhance the health care quality and the third was to improve governance. As well as MMR, the Ministry of Health also begun the maternal morality surveillance system. This allowed them to collect and analyse data in 2009 which discovered the goal of reducing the MMR to 50 would not be achievable by 2015. Because of this information, a new action plan 2012-16 was introduced to join the new information, reinforce management and target specific actions for rural and disadvantaged areas.
The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Morocco is 110. This is compared with 124 in 2008 and 383.8 in 1990. The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 39 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 54. In Morocco the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is 5 and the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women 1 in 360.
Over the last 20 years nutrition has significantly changed with rapid changes due to demographic characteristics of the region, speedy urbanisation and social development of steady and significant economic growth. Morocco and the overall nutrition of the Middle East have the highest amount of excessive dietary energy intake. With a low rate of 4%, of poverty prevalence and a 19% of child malnutrition, Morocco has an 8% rate of child malnutrition. All these changes have significantly contributed to the dietary and physical activity of individuals living in the Middle East, reflecting changes with nutrition and the prevalence of these changes.
Moroccan Health In comparison to Australian Health
Moroccan health compared to Australian health varies significantly, with Australia being one of the 'healthiest population amongst the world'. Australia's life expectancy is 82 years, 1.1 times longer than the world average. It is stated that 'Australia has the 10th longest life expectancy in the world'. Morocco's overall life expectancy is the same a the world average which is 74 years with Morocco ranking '90th amongst the world'. The infant mortality rate for Morocco is '23.7 deaths per 1 000 live births' in comparison to Australia with only '3 deaths per 1 000 live births'.
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- Morocco country profile. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (May 2006). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
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