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Healthcare in Madagascar

Standards of healthcare throughout Madagascar are well below Western standards. There are foreign physicians in Antananarivo representing a broad range of specialities, but their training is variable and often not to Western standards. The hospitals in Antananarivo vary greatly in standards of care. Medical care outside of Antananarivo is generally well below the care available in the capital city.

All medical services in Madagascar are free. Each province has a central hospital and local clinics, dispensaries, and maternity-care centres are supplemented by mobile health units. The main hospitals are the Hospital Befelatnana (1,300 beds) and Fort Dauphin Hospital (80).

The fertility rate is at about five children per woman. There are about 29 physicians per 100,000 persons. Infant mortality was at 74 per 1,000 live births in 2005. Life expectancy at birth was at 58.4 in the early 21st century.

At the end of 2001, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS was estimated at 22,000 (including 0.3% of the adult population). Deaths from AIDS in 1999 were estimated at 870. In the same year HIV prevalence was 0.14 per 100 adults.

Malaria remains one of the major health problems. The current reorganisation of the health service in Madagascar is an opportunity to establish new anti-malaria programs. The strategies of the fight against malaria consist of early care of malaria cases, drug interaction for pregnant women, and eradication of adult insects in the central highlands where malaria is common. The major endemic diseases are malaria, leprosy and schistosomiasis. Tuberculosis is also prevalent. In 1995, there were 5,915 leprosy cases. In 2000, 47% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 42% had adequate sanitation.