Health in Vanuatu

General information

The Republic of Vanuatu’s land area is made up of a group of islands in the south-west Pacific, lying south of Solomon Islands and east of the state of Queensland in Australia. The country comprises six provinces: Malampa, Penama, Sanma, Shefa, Tafea and Torba.

Climate

Oceanic tropical, with south-east trade winds from May to October. The period from November to April is humid, with moderate rainfall. Cyclones may occur between November and April.

Environment

The most significant environmental issues are that a majority of the population does not have access to a safe and reliable supply of water (although it is improving), and deforestation.

Population

247,000 (2012); predominantly concentrated near the coast on the four main islands; 25 per cent of people live in urban areas – Efaté has the fastest-growing population, as people migrate to the capital. The population growth rate stood at 2.5 per cent p.a. between the years of 1990-2012. In 2012 the birth rate was 27 per 1,000 people (43 in 1970) and life expectancy was 71 years (53 in 1970). Most of the population is Melanesian, known as ni-Vanuatu (98.5 per cent in the 1999 census), the rest of mixed Micronesian, Polynesian and European descent.

Economy

Vanuatu is classified as a lower-middle-income economy by the World Bank.

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