Both in terms of health conditions for individuals, as well as for available services, Mauritania comes out as the last of 22 MENA countries. Only in the field of malnutrition are there is positive tendencies. Mauritanians suffer little from overweight, and malnutrition has gone down from 15 to 10% since the early 1990's.
Mauritania's health facilies are established all across inhabited parts of the country, but quality and capacity is highly insufficient. In a country with more than 3 million inhabitnats there are just above 300 doctors, and only about 2,400 hospital beds. There is only one large hospital is in Nouakchott. Other towns and communities are served by 25 health centres of which 15 are maternity clinics.
As a general rule, health services are provided for free for citizens on low income.
There has been some privitization since the 1990's
Health conditions and diseases
The main health issues are related to malaria, tuberculosis, measles, dysentery and influenza. Child mortality remains a challenge, much due to unhygienic conditions and lack of medical care during birth. Use of contraception was in 1990 only 3% among married women.
Widespread diseases of Mauritania are tuberculosis, intestinal and eye diseases.
Mauritania is another country where many are subjected to female genital mutilation. Figures from 1994 show that about 25% are affected.
Figures of 2006 from WHO show that 60% have good access to clean water, but as little as 24% access to good sanitation. Sanitation access is as low as 10% in the countryside, but that only 44% have access to good sanitation in cities is probably more alarming.