Combating Common Diseases in EstoniaEstonia, a European country that borders the Baltic Sea, was a member of the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991. In 2004, Estonia joined the EU and had been run as a parliamentary republic ever since. With a population of a little over 1.3 million, the country has a life expectancy of 73 years for men and 82 years for women.

Over the past few decades, Estonia has built its healthcare system from the ground up. The increase in accessibility and quality of healthcare has helped to combat common diseases in Estonia.

Cardiovascular disease has by far the highest mortality rate in Estonia, causing 54 percent of deaths. Cancer is the second deadliest, claiming 21.5 percent. An unhealthy diet and high systolic blood pressure are the two most fatal risks in Estonia, each containing over twice the risk of the third greatest risk. Most common diseases in Estonia can be avoided with a well-balanced diet and consistent exercise.

There are also common communicable diseases in Estonia that can cause much harm, especially if left untreated. Afflictions like diarrhea and lower respiratory diseases comprise over 62 percent of fatal communicable diseases. HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis also pose a threat to the mortality rate, causing 26 percent of deaths due to communicable diseases. Hepatitis A, Typhoid Fever, Hepatitis E, Malaria, Dengue Fever, and Rabies also pose a risk. While these diseases are not common diseases in Estonia, citizens and visitors should still be wary and take all possible precautions.

Tuberculosis has been a topic of concern for Estonians, especially because of its attachment to HIV. Estonia has one of the highest numbers of patients suffering from both tuberculosis and HIV. Thankfully, the government has committed to attacking tuberculosis, and the country is on track to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis.

Estonia’s healthcare system provides health insurance for 95 percent of the population to combat these diseases. It is ranked a higher quality system than that of Great Britain by the Health Consumer Powerhouse (HCP). The HCP also ranked Estonia first as the most cost-effective healthcare program. With the Estonian government continuing to make consistent improvements in healthcare, deaths caused by common diseases should continue to decrease.

Julia Mccartney

Photo: Flickr