Eswatini is a small country in southern Africa, between South Africa and Mozambique. Eswatini has a population of only 1.400 people, 76% of whom live in rural areas. Life expectancy has increased greatly recently but it is still only 55 years for men and 63 years for women.more...
The maternal mortality rate is far higher than in the neighbouring countries: 437 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, compared to 289 in Mozambique and 119 in South Africa. Infant mortality is also still very high, with 36 deaths per 1,000 live births. Furthermore, Eswatini holds the sad record of having the highest prevalence of HIV in the world: 27.3% of the adult population is HIV+. This percentage reaches 35% if one considers just the female population. The prevalence of HIV/TB co-infection is also one of the highest in the world. The data relating to some non-communicable diseases are also alarming: diabetes and renal failure alone affect 13.5% of the population.
The national health system is trying to meet the population’s health needs with the few resources available. Health is the third item on the state budget, after education and national security. One of the system’s weaknesses is the scarce availability of healthcare personnel and the backwardness of the infrastructures. There is only one doctor for every 6,600 people.
DREAM in Eswatini
The DREAM programme supports the largest hospital in the Lubombo region, in the east of the country. The Community of Sant’Egidio works in the poorest region, on the border with Mozambique, where most of the people live in rural areas. The collaboration with the Good Shepherd Mission Hospital started a few years ago by supporting the HIV and TB services. The hospital is in Siteki, the most important city in the region and it offers a wide range of services....less