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Health Care, Disease Control, Crime and Safety in Togo

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The health situation in Togo shows the following facts: (a) In 1991, the country had 319 doctors and 1,187 nurses, which improved in 2000 with four physicians per 100,000 people; (b) From 1990 to 1995, 61% of the population had access to healthcare services; (c) in 1999, it had 0.1 physician and 1.5 hospital beds per 1,000 people; (d) As of end or 2001, the country had 150,000 people—6% of whom were adults— living with HIV/AIDS, 12,000 dying from AIDS, and 5.98 per 100 adults as HIV prevalence; (e) Many people travel more than 10 miles to get basic medical services and care; and (f) There is an improved physician to people ratio of one doctor per 9,000 people and one nurse per 1,500 people.

The medical services provided by the state are limited as the hospital and dispensary in most towns are usually either overcrowded or lacking in adequate medical supplies. This situation is compounded by incidents of diseases in addition to HIV/AIDS—schistosomiasis, which is acquired by exposure to contaminated water; African trypanosomiasis, a sleeping ailment, which can be fatal, and is transmitted by tsetse flies; malaria, a mosquito-borne disease which is infectious; dengue fever, a flu-like disease transmitted also by mosquitoes and is complicated by hemorrhage; and cholera, a disease which can lead to life-threatening dehydration, if not attended to properly.

To help combat these health problems, programs are being carried out in coordination with the Ministry of Health. These include those by the Mobile Service for Hygiene and Preventive Medicine that performs mass inoculations and pest-control campaigns, and conducts educational drives on hygiene and basic health-prevention measures among the populace.

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