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Mauritius: Mauritius Health Profile 2012






Mauritius Health Profile 2012

Mauritius has reached an advanced stage in its epidemiological transition. Communicable diseases, problems of maternal and child health (MCH) has markedly decline and are controlled effectively. On the other hand noncommunicable and chronic diseases are on the rise. Coverage rates for immunization, ante and postnatal care, and attended births have reached relatively high levels overall throughout Mauritius and the Island of Rodrigues as a result of implementation of a comprehensive national and maternal child health programmes within the framework of the National PHC Programme.
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in Mauritius represent 74 % of the total burden of disease in men and 76 per cent in women and include diabetes, hypertension, cerebrovascular diseases, cancer, mental illness and substance related diseases linked to tobacco use and alcohol abuse.
The prevalence of diabetes mellitus has stabilized over the past decade.In 2004, the national NCD survey confirmed for the first time a slight decrease in the prevalence of diabetes to 19.3%. Overall, within the age group 20 - 59, diabetes is more prevalent among males than females. This pattern is reversed for age group over 60, with higher prevalence rates among females. Prevalence of high blood pressure estimated at 29.8% of adults aged 35 to 64 years in 2004 has been stable since 1992. The crude prevalence of hypertension in 2004 by age-group shows that only 4.5% of adults aged 20-29 years is hypertensive. Control among diabetes and hypertensive patients receiving treatment is generally poor. The rapid industrialization along with the openness of the island to the external world has brought in its wake changes in life styles in turn impacting on the health and nutritional welfare of the communities. Negative effects that arise from a more sedentary life style are associated with lowered physical activity; issues related to time allocation; tendency to consume more convenient foods; and preference to settle for less strenuous recreational activities.

Age-standardised prevalence of obesity and overweight dropped for the first time since 1987 but is still remains relatively high at 35.7%.The declining trend is largely attributable to increasing physical activity as high as 100% among males aged 30 or more and of about 500% among females of the same age over the period 1987 -2004. Prevalence of abusive alcohol consumption among males rose to 19.1% in 2004, representing an increase of 20% between 1998 and 2004. Tobacco consumption continues to decrease steadily with current smoking among males dropping from 57.9% in 1987 to 35.9% in 2004.
Cancer is the third most common cause of death in men. This pathology is likely to increase with the aging population and the increase of risk factors related to changes in lifestyles. According to the National Cancer Registry (NCR) the incidence of all cancers combined for the period 2001-2004 was 95.5 per 100 000 for males and 126.2 per 100,000 for females. Mortality/ incidence ratio was 0.8 for males and 0.6 for females.
The HIV epidemic in Mauritius is classified as ‘Concentrated’ with prevalence of around 30 – 60% among vulnerable groups such as prison inmates, intravenous drug users and commercial sex workers (CSWs).At the beginning of the epidemic, the mode of transmission of the virus was predominantly heterosexual. A shift in mode of transmission from heterosexual to injecting drug use occurred in 2003 when 66 % of the new cases were detected among Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) as compared to 14% in 2002. This shift reached its peak in 2005 (92%) and leveled off to around 80% in 2007.

• National Health Sector Strategy will be developed
• Public /Private partnership within the health sector
• Control of noncommunicable diseases and risk factor
• Continued surveillance of communicable diseases
• Continued development of human resources for health
• Aging population