Common Diseases in MauritiusLocated in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Southern Africa, Mauritius is an archipelago that is only about 500 miles east of Madagascar. At almost 11 times the size of Washington D.C., Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in the 16th century and subsequently settled by the Dutch. With a life expectancy of 74 years for the country’s 1.2 million inhabitants, the most common diseases in Mauritius that are life-threatening are non-communicable.

According to Commonwealth Health, “non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Mauritius accounted for an estimated 87 percent of all mortality in 2008.” The most common diseases in Mauritius are cardiovascular diseases, which accounted for 36 percent of total deaths across all age groups in 2008. Diabetes, cancers and non-communicable variants of respiratory diseases contributed 23 percent, 12 percent and five percent to total mortality, respectively.

Cardiovascular diseases, “diabetes, urogenital, blood and endocrine diseases”, and cancer are considered the deadliest overall, with ischemic heart disease, diabetes and cerebrovascular disease in the lead.

Ischemic Heart Disease, also known as coronary artery disease, involves a decreased blood flow to the heart. It was considered one of the deadliest common diseases in Mauritius in 2015. In 2014 alone, the diseases caused 1,148 deaths. Cerebrovascular disease, caused by damage to the brain from interruption of blood supply, was the third most common disease in 2015. Fortunately, the disease has decreased in prevalence by 9.5 percent since 2005.

Diabetes, a disease of permanently altered insulin levels and blood sugar, was the second highest cause of death in Mauritius as of 2015. In 2005, diabetes was only the third most common cause of death, but throughout the decade, deaths from the disease have increased in prevalence by a staggering 65.1 percent. This is due, in part, to recent changes in dietary habits with the introduction of fast food and lack of exercise as well as genetic predisposition.

Obesity, caused by diet and lack of exercise, can also play a role in diabetes. The prevalence of obesity has increased from 16 percent in 2009 to 19.1 percent in 2015, with approximately 398,417 Mauritians being overweight or obese.

Conscious of the growing health concern, the Mauritian government has established a National Service Framework for Diabetes. The goal of the organization is to lay out strategies for prevention and standards of care to be implemented.

The common diseases in Mauritius can be found in any country. While some diseases are unfortunately hereditary, there are ways of managing health to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases. By making conscious lifestyle changes, such as exercising and maintaining a healthy diet, the risk of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes can be effectively reduced.

Stefanie Podosek

Photo: Flickr

Help People in MauritiusThe Republic of Mauritius is an Indian Ocean archipelago that is located just off the south coast of Africa, and is usually seen as a model of stability and economic prosperity in the region. Since becoming independent, Mauritius has developed from a low-income country with an economy based around agriculture to a middle-income country with an economy that is much more diversified. Many general improvements have come with this economic development, such as a drop in the infant mortality rate. Other improvements include universal access to health care, the elimination of polio and malaria and nearly the entire population having access to clean drinking water.

Despite this, there is still poverty and a significant need to figure out how to help people in Mauritius. Along with poverty still being present on the island, there are still issues of violence against women, children losing parental care due to poverty and the social exclusion that affects children with disabilities. With the island seeming more like a tropical paradise at times, it is important to keep in mind that there is still a great deal of disadvantaged and poor people in Mauritius, particularly in rural areas.

Another factor in Mauritius’ poverty situation is that there is no official poverty line in the country. They use a relative poverty line that is defined as “half median monthly household income per adult equivalent.” The poorest households usually satisfy three basic conditions: households that have difficulty obtaining daily basic food, households that consume government rice and households that buy food on credit.

Now we must consider the best ways of how to help people in Mauritius, allowing us to address these issues and achieve a better standard of living for the poor. The first solution undertaken by the government was implementing a social welfare program that aims to bridge the gap between the poor and the non-poor. The program focused on the distribution of social aid to needy people, subsidies on basic food items, improving the level of education, microfinancing small and medium enterprise and female empowerment in the labor market.

Social policies such as this are essential for combating poverty and for pinpointing how to help people in Mauritius effectively. Anthony Giddens, a British sociologist who is renowned for his theory of structuration and his holistic view of modern societies, said “Although being poor does not necessarily mean being permanently mired in poverty, effective social policies which maximize the power of human agency will be a key part of any solution.”

In 2017, Mauritius instituted the Marshall Plan Against Poverty, an ambitious reform aimed at addressing persistent pockets of poverty and social exclusion in the country. Though the plan refers to the official number of poor households as 33,600, the government is focusing on the absolute poorest, equaling about 10,000 households. So far, the plan has committed approximately 2.2 billion rupees, or $63 million, over the next three years as they continue to implement the Marshall Plan.

There are several other solutions that can help us find how to help people in Mauritius, such as introducing legislation for a national minimum wage for workers and taking an initiative in creating more jobs in the manufacturing sector and other industries. The minimum wage of a worker should be equal to or more than the revised figures published by the Household Budget Survey of Statistics Mauritius, as it is necessary to reduce income inequality and to help the poor find a decent life using their own efforts. Similarly, as other countries around the world have shown, there is a working-class population that will largely never earn a degree, prompting the need for an increase in jobs for the working class.

Drew Fox

Photo: Unsplash

Mauritius Poverty RateThe country of Mauritius is an interesting case study economically. An island nation off the coast of Africa, one would assume that the country’s economy is based primarily on low-wage sectors such as agriculture and tourism. Based on that assumption, it would therefore be relatively safe to conclude that the Mauritius poverty rate is high, given that those industries do not tend to produce much in terms of GDP.

This, however, is not necessarily the case. While Mauritius’ GDP is ranked 137th in the world at $25.89 billion, their GDP per capita is ranked 84th at $20,400 per person, according to the CIA World Factbook. This means that Mauritius has one of the highest GDPs per capita throughout the entirety of Africa.

With numbers this good, the Mauritius poverty rate is relatively low, at just 8 percent as of 2006. Keep in mind that the global poverty rate according to the World Bank is just over 10 percent of the population, meaning that, all things considered, Mauritius is doing relatively well in this aspect.

What is interesting is that these figures could also keep improving. Since its independence in 1968, Mauritius has continuously diversified its economy so that the country can grow its industrial, financial and tourism sectors. These are more capital-intensive industries that have reconstructed Mauritius’ economy into one that is upper-middle-income, rather than low-income.

The numbers are there to back this up as well. Over the last five to six years, Mauritius’ GDP grew by about three to four percent each year, and the World Bank projects that this level of growth will continue well into the future. Foreign investment has increased in Mauritius, and as the country’s economy diversifies, its GDP and GDP per capita will also see tangible increases.

This means that, as the country’s general economy improves, the Mauritius poverty rate could also see an improvement. A further decrease would give Mauritius one of the lowest poverty rates in the world. As foreign investors flock to the island nation and as its economy evolves and diversifies, we will see how Mauritius responds to this new international attention.

John Mirandette

Photo: Flickr

Causes of Poverty in MauritiusMauritius is a little paradise island that flourishes in its diverse culture and tradition. A closer look reveals a complex history of this archipelago — once colonized by the Dutch, French and finally, the British. Mauritius gained its independence in 1968 and has since transformed itself from a low-income economy mostly dependent on agriculture and fishing to an economy thriving on industrial, financial and tourism growth.

Indeed, a success story.

What is commendable is that the country has achieved this in spite of many roadblocks like remoteness from the world market, racial inequality and high population growth. Of note, between 1977 and 2008, the Mauritius economy averaged a 4.6 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, thanks to sound and pragmatic development strategies adopted by the government.

Less than 1 percent of its population lives on $1 a day or less — which means that extreme poverty is almost non-existent. At the same time, the percentage of people living in relative poverty (set at half the median monthly household income per adult equivalent) stood at 9.4 percent in 2012.

Here are five causes of poverty in Mauritius:

  1. The island of Rodrigues, a part of the Republic, has 40 percent of its population living below the poverty level. This is because the island does not form part of the tourist attraction nor does it produce any resources to add to exports.
  2. As the focus of economic development has shifted to export, industries and tourism, the rural households that depend on agriculture as their source of income have become more vulnerable to poverty. Environmental deterioration is one of the biggest cause of low yields of agriculture.
  3. Women in rural areas are especially prone to poverty as they often have low levels education and have not acquired professional skills. Families that depend on these women for their financial needs are at a higher risk.
  4. Modernization and industrialization boosted the economy but also led to greater income inequality. This has resulted in high indebtedness in poor households.
  5. Most important among the causes of poverty in Mauritius is the “triple trade shock” that the country experienced in 2005, referring to losses in trade preferences for textiles and sugar and rising energy prices. The government has brought in many reforms to overcome this crisis. But it is still an ongoing process.

The government has also undertaken the ambitious reform plan known as The Marshall Plan Against Poverty to address the above causes of poverty in Mauritius. Its first goal is to reach the 10,000 households living in absolute poverty. The focus is on social inclusion through education, adhering to the principle of “no one left behind.”

Here are the policy measures adopted to alleviate poverty:

  • Housing support
  • Community development projects
  • Child welfare programs
  • Family empowerment
  • Training for employment

The government’s commitment to these bold reforms, along with global partnerships could signal that the “Mauritius Miracle” is here to stay.

Tripti Sinha

Photo: Flickr

Water Quality in Mauritius tap water
The Republic of Mauritius is an Indian Ocean archipelago nation just off the southeastern coast of Africa. The country is home to many ethnic groups, races, languages, religions and cultures. With such diversity, the country is perceived as a melting pot. The water quality in Mauritius is mostly safe, but it is not always up to international standards.

More than half of the water supply in the country is sourced from groundwater, and the rest is derived from reservoirs and lakes. Freshwater emanates from the country’s 92 rivers, 13 natural and man-made lakes and groundwater sources.

Surface water courses through water basins, while five main aquifers provide water for both domestic and irrigation use. About 99.4 percent of the population has access to safe drinking water, with per capita consumption reaching up to 190 liters of water per day.

Because tap water quality in Mauritius is reportedly dependent on the village locale, tourists are advised to avoid tap water altogether in favor of bottled water. However, a closer look at the country’s commitment to water security and safety shows that many steps have been taken and many are underway.

 

Improving Tap Water Quality in Mauritius

 

The Central Water Authority (CWA) of Mauritius is tasked with providing safe drinking water – or potable water – to all Mauritians. Water for irrigation purposes is regulated by the Irrigation Authority, while the Waste Management Authority (WMA) is responsible for managing wastewater.

In order to meet the nation’s water needs for all sectors up to the year 2040, the nation’s Water Resources Unit has worked out a plan to harness additional water resources. Construction of storage dams, diverted run-off from river streams and the development of ground water sources have all been explored in the plan.

Water resources are constantly monitored to check for the presence of contamination. Two laboratories in the country monitor the quality of the treated water supply to ensure compliance with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for potable water, as well as the quality of raw water resources. This has included testing of the physical, chemical and microbiological perimeters of the potable water. In this way, good water quality in Mauritius is ensured.

In an effort to promote more sustainable use of water, water resource infrastructure is being improved. This has included an analysis of canals, storage dams and dikes to minimize water losses and identify any necessary rehabilitations to the existing infrastructure.

Additionally, monitoring is conducted in the coastal zones due to the nation’s reliance on subsistence fisheries. Ground and lagoon water is checked for contamination and standards have been established for wastewater management.

As a melting pot, Mauritius brings many people together. This spirit is reflected in the archipelago nation’s existing legal and institutional framework in maintaining water security and cleanliness for all Mauritians.

High management of water quality in Mauritius ensures that proper water sanitation is maintained. With the implementation of future projects, Mauritius aims to accept present challenges, overcome constraints and supply water for all.

Mohammed Khalid

Photo: Pixabay


In the Indian Ocean, located just northeast of Réunion and east of Madagascar, lies the archipelago of Mauritius, a land mass totaling just half the size of Rhode Island. Previously held by the British, French and Dutch, Mauritius gained independence in 1968 and has since grown from an agriculturally-based, low-income economy to a diversified, middle-income economy. As of 2015, life expectancy for the country’s 1.2 million inhabitants has reached 74 years, and only non-communicable diseases are now the most common causes of death. Here are the top diseases in Mauritius:

Ischemic Heart Diseases
A disease that involves a decreased blood flow to the heart, ischemic heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease, was the deadliest of the top diseases in Mauritius in 2015. This has been a pattern for the past ten years. In 2014 alone, the disease took 1,148 lives. Fortunately, the disease had decreased in prevalence by 9.5 percent since 2005.

Diabetes
Diabetes, a disease of permanently altered insulin levels and blood sugar, was the second highest cause of death in Mauritius as of 2015. In 2005, diabetes was only the third most common cause of death, but throughout the decade, deaths from the disease had climbed in prevalence by a staggering 65.1 percent, most likely due to a combination of recent changes in dietary habits after the introduction of fast food, lack of exercise and genetic predisposition.

Conscious of the growing health concern, the Mauritian government has established a National Service Framework for Diabetes. The goal of the organization is to lay out strategies for prevention and standards of care to be implemented.

Cerebrovascular Disease
A disease of cerebral circulation, deaths by cerebrovascular disease in Mauritius had dropped from the second most common cause of death in 2005 to the third most common cause of death in 2015, as the disease had decreased in prevalence by 9.5 percent.

In the newly industrialized economy, deaths by both ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease have decreased. At the same time, diabetes, the disease that has rapidly picked up speed, is being addressed by the Mauritian government. The country, therefore, is quickly becoming a foreign aid success story, with a responsive government ready to address the top diseases in Mauritius.

Shannon Golden

Photo: Flickr


The Republic of Mauritius is a tiny island in the Indian Ocean, located just east of Madagascar and the African continent. It gained independence from Great Britain in 1968 and became a Republic in 1992. Education in Mauritius is still in its early stages, in a former British colony, mirrors the British system of education.

Much like other places around the world, the island nation’s educational system offers primary and secondary education. Children begin their primary education at the age of five. There are six elementary school years, at the end of which students take the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE) examination. The next step is admission into a secondary school.

Like primary education, attendance at secondary school in Mauritius is compulsory, until age 16. Students attend for five to seven years, depending on exam scores that keep them on an academic track or transition them into vocational programs. Those who stay the full seven years take additional exams for the opportunity to move on to post-secondary and university education.

Many children ages three through five attend pre-primary schools. According to Statistics Mauritius for 2016, nearly 29,000 students were enrolled in such schools. Almost 100 percent of the population of 4 to 5-year-olds attended pre-primary schools. More than 97,300 (97 percent) students enrolled in 318 primary schools for the 2016 school year. While the number enrolled in secondary school grew to over 110,000, only 72 percent of students eligible attended.

The problem with education in Mauritius is retention. Attendance drops 25 percent from primary to secondary school. There needs to be a bigger focus on retaining students as they progress through secondary education and beyond.

One key indicator of success is the educators themselves and how many are teaching the children. A lower student/teacher ratio is critical to obtain the best possible education for each student. With more students per teacher, some students are overlooked and do not get the attention they require to learn. In Mauritius, the ratio improves the older students get, from 24 in primary education to 13 in secondary schools. Unfortunately, this is because of secondary school attrition.

While the Republic of Mauritius is very young, school enrollment has been high. Although education in Mauritius has produced students who are achieving better scores, there remains room for improvement and growth. A stable foundation has been laid, and quality is only going to increase.

Brendin Axtman

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in Mauritius
Off the coast of Madagascar lies the island nation of Mauritius, teeming with pristine beaches, lush forests and ethnic diversity. Poverty in Mauritius has been reduced to just eight percent of the population since the country has flourished economically after winning independence from the United Kingdom in 1968.

Mauritius is an upper middle-income country with sugar, tourism, textiles and financial services mainly driving the economy. Many international entities, especially those interested in doing business with India, South Africa and China, are attracted to Mauritius.

While most Mauritians were employed in the agriculture or fishing industries at the time of independence, these industries now make up less than 10 percent of the labor force. The majority of Mauritians are now employed in construction and industry or restaurants and hotels. Other services also make up a large part of the labor force.

Mauritius has benefited greatly from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) passed by U.S. Congress in 2000. The AGOA allows duty-free exports to the U.S. market. Mauritius has increased exports to the U.S. by 40 percent from 2000-2014.

Like other developing nations, income inequality increased in Mauritius during the rapid industrialization. However, the government has established social welfare programs to eradicate poverty in Mauritius. This includes food stamps, social services, micro-financing to small businesses, female empowerment in the labor market and the ZEP program that seeks to raise primary school exam scores in underperforming schools. The government of Mauritius also provides Social Security for those over 60, free primary and secondary education and free healthcare.

Creoles of African descent are especially vulnerable to poverty in Mauritius. Mauritian creoles are descendants of slaves brought from Africa to Mauritius in the 18th and 19th centuries. Creoles have the weakest sense of identity out of all the Mauritian ethnic groups, as plantation owners intentionally mixed slaves from various ethnic groups together to eliminate any family ties, shared languages or any other forms of social organization.

Studies show that poverty occurs more often in households with a large number of dependent children, female-headed households, single-parent households and single person households.

In 2015 the government began developing the Marshall Plan to eradicate poverty in Mauritius. The plan will focus on:

  • Social protection
  • Housing
  • Social inclusion and community development
  • Access to education
  • Employment for sustainable livelihood, especially for vulnerable groups
  • Youth economic empowerment
  • Access to electricity, sanitation, water, transportation, and ICT (information, communications and technology) services
  • Environmental protection

Cassie Lipp

Photo: Flickr