Healthcare Statistical Highlights
Derived from: Health and Poverty in Guatemala
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 2966, January 2003
Guatemala is the most populous & largest economy in Central America, but its rural population still lives in great deprivation – excluded socially, economically, and politically due to language and geographical barriers & to a lack of education and economic opportunities. As a result, Guatemala has among the worst “health outcomes” & “health indicators” in Latin America.
Poverty & Malnutrition
Guatemala stands out with an inordinately high poverty rate – with 56% of families below poverty line & 16% in extreme poverty – with higher indigenous figures. (76% & 27%).
Diarrhea, acute respiratory infection, & malnutrition are the primary causes of child mortality in Latin America. Guatemala has the highest prevalence of chronically malnourished children – 44% (47% in remote areas) & is the primary cause of mortality (Two deaths per 1000 inhabitants).
Life Expectancy – Fertility – Infant Mortality
Life expectancy at birth in Guatemala is third lowest in Latin America.
Infant mortality in Guatemala (45 deaths per 1000 live births) is third highest in Latin America.
Total fertility rate (5 children/woman) is comparable to world’s least developed countries.
Healthcare Access Problems
Despite 20% of the population lives in Guatemala City, Guatemala is the least urbanized country in Central America (only 39% in urban areas). In most villages, there are no health services, but the costs of traveling to access services are often prohibitive.
Only 11% of Guatemala’s population has access to health services, based on the World Health Organization definition.
Guatemala has the 2nd lowest per capita public spending on health in Latin America ($16).
50% of children with respiratory infection or diarrhea are treated in their homes rather than in any health facility.
In rural areas, only 25% of the population sees a doctor, while 50% rely on self-medication.