There are lots of reasons to be concerned about your health in Equatorial Guinea. Statistically, Equatorial Guinea is one of the most unhealthy places to live on the planet.
Equatorial Guinea has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world at 69 deaths/1,000 (US is 5.87/1,000) and one of the highest HIV rates in the world at 6.1% (US is .6%). It has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world at 63 years (US is 79).
One of the more frustrating facts about Equatorial Guinea is that so many of the causes of deaths occur from very treatable illnesses. It has among the highest rates of death in diarrheal disease, malnutrition, flu, diabetes, parasite related illnesses, measles and whooping cough. In this modern day and age it is ludicrous that these illnesses are still considered fatal. There are two major reasons for this: 1) a low rate of medical professionals, and 2) a reliance upon witchcraft to “treat” illness.
The U.N. has recognized the lack of medical professionals in Africa as one of the worst problems affecting health issues throughout the continent and gone as far too publicly call the problem a “crisis of health man-power.” The World Health Organization has stated that medical facilities in general are, “barely able to function for lack of qualified, motivated doctors, nurses and other health workers”
The top 10 causes of Death in Equatorial Guinea are:
3. Diarrheal disease (i.e. cholera)
5. Coronary heart disease
7. Low birth rate
8. Other injuries
9. Birth trauma
For us, there are also risks. In addition to normal vaccinations the CDC recommends those visiting Equatorial Guinea receive Hepatitis A, Malaria, Typhoid and Yellow Fever. There are living creatures, large and small, that concern us. Personally, we are stressed about bacteria in food, contaminated water, mosquitoes transmitting dengue, malaria and chicungunya, flies that lay eggs in living hosts and a whole bunch of other unwelcome intruders into our bodies.
Pray Erin can make an impact with her medical/mercy ministry and pray God protects us from critters big and small.