A Look at the Healthcare System of Belize Essay

Words: 2323
Pages: 10

A Look at the Healthcare System of Belize

Manuel Hicks

Health Care Organization & Delivery

Dr. Wilson

February 19, 2010

Overview/Healthcare System

Belize is a small country on the northeast coast of Central America bordering Mexico and Guatemala. The country has a tropical climate that is very humid. The total country population of Belize is estimated around 301,270 spread out among 6 districts. The country of Belize, #156 on the list of GDP rankings between countries, is a country that has sufficient healthcare at a low cost. The Belizean economy is based primarily on agriculture and services. The 1996 per capita income was $2,308 (US dollars). A 1995 Poverty Assessment report
…show more content…
Malaria is something that is rarely reported in the U.S. and Canada. Belize has one of the largest numbers of reported Malaria in the world. This vector borne disease as well as Dengue, has numbers as high as thousands infected and has become a focal point for healthcare providers in Belize. HIV/AIDS is a very bad pandemic in Belize also, as well as other countries. The epidemic of HIV/AIDS is rapidly growing there mainly because of the weaknesses of the healthcare system. Lack of education about it, high cost of medicines, poor access to treatment and counseling, just to name a few, are all reasons this is such a problem for Belizeans on such a large scale. The first case of HIV in Belize was reported in 1986 and has since spread tremendously. Belize has the highest number of infections per capita in Central America and it is estimated that out of the dense population of roughly 301,300, about 10,000 are infected with HIV/AIDS. These numbers show that the lack of a strong healthcare system contributes to this. Between 2003 and 2005, approximately 185 women tested positive for HIV. The male-female ratio at the end of 2005 was 1.1:1. In 2003, 10 children less than 1 year of age and 12 children 1-4 years of age were newly diagnosed as being HIV-positive (UNAIDS, 2004)

The hospitals in Belize provide some services such as common illnesses, maternity care, and