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Mauritania's health care infrastructure in the early 1980s consisted of a central hospital in Nouakchott, twelve regional hospitals, a number of health clinics, maternal and child care centers, dispensaries, and mobile medical units to serve the countryside. All facilities suffered from a lack of equipment, supplies, and trained personnel. The ratio of people to hospital beds was 2,610 to one. The ratio of people to physicians was 13,350 to one. This ratio represented an improvement over the 1965 figure of 36,580 to one and was better than that of some of Mauritania's neighbors.[1]

In 1987 Mauritania's largest medical facility was the 500-bed government-run hospital in Nouakchott. Staffed by Mauritanian and expatriate doctors, it lacked supplies and properly maintained equipment. Other facilities included the National Health Center, built in 1977 for the study of disease prevention and methods of public health care education, and the National School of Nurses and Midwives, founded in 1966 to train nurses, midwives, and paramedical personnel.[1]

In general, health standards were quite low, and many infectious diseases were endemic. Contagious diseases (such as measles and tuberculosis) and respiratory disorders were more prevalent in northern arid regions, whereas malaria, guinea worm infection, and schistosomiasis were more common in the Senegal River Valley. The desert tended to be a healthier environment than the more tropical south, but several major diseases were common to all areas of the country. Typhoid, poliomyelitis, hepatitis, and a variety of parasitic illnesses also affected the population. In late 1987, the World Health Organization issued warnings about cholera, and outbreaks of both yellow fever and Rift Valley fever were reported in the extreme southern part of Trarza Region around Rosso. Contagious and infectious diseases were rampant in the kébés surrounding major towns, cities, and villages.[1]

In the mid-1980s, a mass vaccination campaign for children under five years of age was under way. The program, aimed at reducing infection from poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, and several other diseases, was reportedly meeting with some success. Malnutrition remained widespread, especially in children. The long-term drought and the consequent drop in food production exacerbated this problem during the early 1980s. According to a 1987 report by the United States Agency for International Development, between 40 percent and 70 percent of children under the age of five had experienced moderate to severe malnutrition. The degree of malnutrition varied according to the success or failure of local crops, and some slight improvement was noted in early 1987.[1]


In 2019, there were 645 medical facilities in Mauritania, including 18 general hospitals and several specialty hospitals. The other facilities were small health centers and posts.[2]

Hospitals in
Name Location Coordinates Ref
Atar Hospital Adrar Region 20°28′16″N 13°08′36″W / 20.4711806314°N 13.1434044113°W / 20.4711806314; -13.1434044113 (Atar Hospital) [2]
Chinguitty Hospital Adrar Region 20°34′56″N 12°19′43″W / 20.5822°N 12.3285°W / 20.5822; -12.3285 (Chinguitty Hospital) [2]
Kiffa Hospital Assaba Region 16°29′59″N 11°21′37″W / 16.4996°N 11.3603°W / 16.4996; -11.3603 (Kiffa Hospital) [2]
Aleg Hospital Brakna Region 17°00′19″N 13°57′42″W / 17.0053°N 13.9616°W / 17.0053; -13.9616 (Aleg Hospital) [2]
Nouadhibou Regional Hospital Centre Dakhlet Nouadhibou Region 20°58′05″N 17°01′34″W / 20.9681765554°N 17.026208544°W / 20.9681765554; -17.026208544 (Nouadhibou Regional Hospital Centre) [2]
Kaédi Regional Hospital Gorgol Region 16°08′32″N 13°27′43″W / 16.1423°N 13.462°W / 16.1423; -13.462 (Kaedi Hospital) [2]
Selibaby Hospital Guidimaka Region 15°06′49″N 12°12′51″W / 15.1135°N 12.2141°W / 15.1135; -12.2141 (Selibaby Hospital) [2]
Nema Hospital Hodh ech Chargui Region 16°36′28″N 7°12′55″W / 16.6079°N 7.2153°W / 16.6079; -7.2153 (Nema Hospital) [2]
Aioun Hospital Hodh el Gharbi Region 16°40′12″N 9°35′06″W / 16.6701°N 9.58501°W / 16.6701; -9.58501 (Aioun Hospital) [2]
Akjoujt Hospital Inchiri Region 19°44′10″N 14°28′28″W / 19.7362301713°N 14.4744524018°W / 19.7362301713; -14.4744524018 (Akjoujt Hospital) [2]
General Hospital Nouakchott (Capitol) 18°06′21″N 15°53′46″W / 18.105826082°N 15.8961139425°W / 18.105826082; -15.8961139425 (General Hospital) [2]
General Hospital Nouakchott (Capitol) 18°08′06″N 15°51′25″W / 18.1348882239°N 15.8570382356°W / 18.1348882239; -15.8570382356 (General Hospital) [2]
General Hospital Nouakchott (Capitol) 18°10′20″N 15°56′42″W / 18.1722854193°N 15.944885953°W / 18.1722854193; -15.944885953 (General Hospital) [2]
General Hospital Nouakchott (Capitol) 18°11′38″N 15°53′50″W / 18.1939385145°N 15.8972075031°W / 18.1939385145; -15.8972075031 (General Hospital) [2]
Al-Saddaaqah Hospital Nouakchott 18°03′57″N 15°57′29″W / 18.065856809331905°N 15.958049296347909°W / 18.065856809331905; -15.958049296347909 (Al-Saddaaqah Hospital) [3]
Hospital Military Nouakchott Nouakchott 18°06′36″N 15°57′12″W / 18.110066951851127°N 15.953264535480468°W / 18.110066951851127; -15.953264535480468 (Hospital Military Nouakchott) [4]
Ophthalmological Hospital Nouakchott Nouakchott 18°06′28″N 15°57′45″W / 18.10768583813108°N 15.962587793314318°W / 18.10768583813108; -15.962587793314318 (Ophthalmological Hospital Nouakchott) [3]
National Cardiology Center Nouakchott 18°09′47″N 15°59′45″W / 18.16293308825754°N 15.995814801280835°W / 18.16293308825754; -15.995814801280835 (National Cardiology Center) [3][5]
National Hospital Center Nouakchott 18°05′20″N 15°59′12″W / 18.088784714475768°N 15.986802577386248°W / 18.088784714475768; -15.986802577386248 (National Hospital Center) [3]
National Oncology Center Nouakchott 18°05′33″N 15°58′49″W / 18.09241537125465°N 15.980236529652043°W / 18.09241537125465; -15.980236529652043 (National Oncology Center) [3]
National Orthopedic Center for Physical Rehabilitation Nouakchott 18°05′16″N 15°58′29″W / 18.087764853525698°N 15.974614619594593°W / 18.087764853525698; -15.974614619594593 (National Orthopedic Center for Physical Rehabilitation) [3][6]
Neuropsychiatry Center Nouakchott Nouakchott 18°05′01″N 15°59′55″W / 18.08366495281111°N 15.998711585536169°W / 18.08366495281111; -15.998711585536169 (Neuro Psychiatry Center Nouakchott) [3]
Tidjikja Hospital Tagant Region 18°30′31″N 11°24′00″W / 18.5087°N 11.4001°W / 18.5087; -11.4001 (Tidjikja Hospital) [2]
Zoueirat Hospital Tiris Zemmour Region 22°46′30″N 12°17′53″W / 22.7749°N 12.2981°W / 22.7749; -12.2981 (Zoueirat Hospital) [2]
Boutilimit Hospital Trarza Region 17°30′48″N 14°40′02″W / 17.5133061846°N 14.6673553639°W / 17.5133061846; -14.6673553639 (Boutilimit Hospital) [2]
Rosso Hospital Trarza Region 16°32′45″N 15°52′50″W / 16.5459065694°N 15.8805235577°W / 16.5459065694; -15.8805235577 (Rosso Hospital) [2]

Maternal and child healthcare

The 2020 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Mauritania is 766. This is compared with 712.2 in 2008 and 1295.4 in 1990. The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 122[7] and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 35. In Mauritania the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is 1[8] and the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women 1 in 41.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Berry, LaVerne. "Medical Care". In Mauritania: A Country Study (Robert E. Handloff, editor). Library of Congress Federal Research Division (June 1988). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "A spatial database of health facilities managed by the public health sector in sub-Saharan Africa". World Health Organization. February 11, 2019. Archived from the original on April 22, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Google Maps
  4. ^ "Mauritania". Military Medicine Worldwide. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  5. ^ "Mission". National Cardiology Center. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  6. ^ "Mauritania". Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  7. ^ "Mauritania MR: Mortality Rate: Under-5: per 1000 Live Births | Economic Indicators | CEIC". Retrieved 2024-04-17.
  8. ^ "World Bank Open Data". World Bank Open Data. Retrieved 2024-04-17.
  9. ^ "The State Of The World's Midwifery". United Nations Population Fund. Retrieved August 1, 2011.