10 facts about life expectancy in Cabo Verde

Located off the coast of Western Africa, the Republic of Cabo Verde is a chain of 10 islands with a population of more than 500,000 people. A former Portuguese colony, Cabo Verde’s economy was heavily based on the Atlantic slave trade. Post independence, the country and its citizens remain impacted by the effects of poverty, including a life expectancy lower than that of many other nations. Here are seven facts about life expectancy in Cabo Verde.

7 Facts About Life Expectancy in Cabo Verde

  1. Life expectancy in Cabo Verde is on the rise. As of 2018, Cabo Verde has a life expectancy at birth of 72.7 years, placing it at 147th in the world. For males, life expectancy is 70.3 years, while females have a life expectancy of 75.1 years.  In 1960, life expectancy at birth was 48.9 years, or 47.7 years for males and 50 years for females. Life expectancy rose rapidly from the 1960s through the mid-2000s and has since been more stable, increasing slightly from year to year.
  2. The country has made huge strides in terms of health care provision. As of 2014, there are more than 250 doctors in Cabo Verde compared with only 13 doctors in 1975. Furthermore, the government is continually working toward universal access to health care and today, “more than 80 percent of the population lives within 30 minutes of a health facility.”
  3. Telemedicine bridges the gap. This innovation is helping to make medical care accessible for those residents who still face barriers to visiting a medical specialist such as cardiologists or dermatologists in person. From 2012 to 2014, the Cabo Verdean government, in collaboration with the International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation and with financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, implemented the Integrated Telemedicine and e-Health Program (ITeHP). The ITeHP involves 10 telemedicine centers throughout the country, where patients can have remote consultations with a specialist.
  4. Sanitation access is poor. Access to clean water and functional sanitation systems is critical to preventing the spread of disease. According to a 2017 article from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), 16 percent of people in urban areas and 54 percent of people in rural areas did not have access to flushing toilets.
  5. The Cabo Verdean government is working to improve sanitation. In 2012, the government partnered with the MCC on an economic growth plan, one aspect of which included a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) project. As of November 2017, the project had resulted in 2,277 new sanitation facilities and 227 kilometers of water pipeline construction.
  6. Infant mortality rates have been steadily decreasing. In 1969, Cabo Verde had an infant mortality rate of 126 per 1,000 births. As of 2017, the rate has dropped to 15 per 1,000 births.
  7. Immunization rates in Cabo Verde are high. For the DTP1 vaccine, which protects against diphtheria and tetanus, the 2018 immunization rate was an estimated 99 percent. The same is true of the polio and measles vaccines.

Cabo Verde’s economic history has led to difficulties in health care and sanitation, but in recent decades the nation has made impressive improvements, which has led to an increase in life expectancy in Cabo Verde. Many citizens of the country still live in poverty, but these seven facts about life expectancy in Cabo Verde show how nongovernmental organizations and the Cabo Verdean government are working to help people manage their health.

– Meredith Charney
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Girls’ Education in Cabo Verde
Cabo Verde is comprised of a group of 10 main islands off of Africa’s northwest coast, separated into the northern Barlavento group and the Sotavento group in the south. Compared with low to middle-income countries, Cabo Verde ranks in the 61st percentile in learning, despite ranking in the 85th percentile in providing access to education. These statistics, however, do not preclude girls’ education in Cabo Verde from further developing its policies to provide young girls with more opportunities than they are given now.    

Girls’ Education in Cabo Verde Plagued by a Gender Gap

Although Cabo Verde benefits from a relatively high rate of youth literacy at 98 percent, there is a gender divide in longer-term education opportunities that is apparent in more specific statistics. Even though the female youth literacy rate is at 98 percent, the female adult literacy rate drops to 86 percent. In 2015, the male population aged 15 years and older had a literacy rate of 91.69 percent, while the female population had a rate of only 82.04 percent.

The policies of the island nation widen the gender gap in education. The gross enrollment ratio for primary education for males in 2015 was at 101 percent while for females it was at 94 percent; of all females that qualify for primary education, only 94 percent enroll. Beyond the low minimum education requirements, many girls have been suspended for pregnancy and cannot resume schooling until after birth. 

As only primary education is free and compulsory for students aged 7 to 13, enrollment rates in secondary schools and higher education drop due to a lack of financial and emotional resources. It is not uncommon for young girls to take on menial jobs, as these are the only jobs they are qualified for since they have not completed their education. Moreover, the shameful stigma of teen pregnancy is often a large enough barrier to keep girls from staying in school or trying to continue.

Progress in Policies Helps Girls Finish School

“Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa,” reported Human Rights Watch on June 16, 2018. Only recently has this policy been revised, giving hope for a change in these rates. The report “Leave No Girl Behind in Africa: Discrimination in Education Against Pregnant Students and Adolescent Mothers” has urged governments to ensure that pregnant girls have the ability to stay in school or at least be able to return to their studies after childbirth.

Twenty-six African countries have proceeded with the report’s advice in protecting these girls’ education. Cabo Verde has revoked all disciplinary actions against pregnant schoolgirls and replaced them with ones that support their re-entry. There are also special accommodations for teen mothers in school, such as permitting time for breastfeeding and health clinic appointments. These new policies do not guarantee that girls actually return to school, as they are not carefully overseen.

Since 2013, all countries associated with the African Union have adopted Agenda 2063, which focuses on the economic and social development of the continent. With a clear strategy, Africa aims to invest more in education, including “elimination of gender disparities at all levels of education,” according to the official Agenda 2063 document. Additionally, governments are working towards ending child marriage and increasing sexual and reproductive health education, which is the largest factor inhibiting the development of girls’ education in Cabo Verde.

Given Cabo Verde’s high statistics regarding some aspects of its educational system, there is reason to believe that it values progress in this sector and will continue to address the current issues, particularly the gender gap in education. “More than half the population of Cabo Verde is under 22 years of age. There is no way not to prioritize the youth,” Susan Delgado, head of the Cabo Verdean delegation and specialist in the Ministry of Education of Cabo Verde, told UNESCO. Recognizing that girls’ education in Cabo Verde deserves reconstruction, much of the island nation’s development will rely on providing equal opportunities for its youth.

– Alice Lieu
Photo: Flickr

Education in Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde is a small nation that consists of a group of islands just under 400 miles off Africa’s northeast coast. Nine of the 10 islands are inhabited and they are divided into two groups. The Barlavento group in the north includes the islands of Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal and Boa Vista. The Sotavento group in the south includes the islands of Maio, Santiago, Fogo and Brava.

According to a 2014 report by the World Bank, 3 percent of primary school aged children were not enrolled in school. Girls were less likely to receive an education in Cabo Verde; only 1 percent of primary school aged boys were not in school compared to 4 percent of girls. The rate of completion of primary education in Cabo Verde is 99 percent, which shows that the small nation is making progress towards its goal of universal primary education.

Compared to other low to middle-income nations, access to education in Cabo Verde ranked among the 85th percentile, but it only ranked at the 61st percentile in learning. Despite this, the literacy rate of the youth population was 98 percent, which was higher than the average in other lower to middle-income nations. This is good news for education in Cabo Verde, because literacy is a necessary skill for accessing higher levels of education.

Although Cabo Verde has made great strides in access to education, there are still some obstacles to overcome. One problem for education in Cabo Verde is that many students and teachers alike speak Creole at home and have a weak command of Portuguese, which is the language used in the academic setting. Aside from that, there is not enough spending on supplies, books and lunches, and there is also a high rate of repetition. Students are more likely to repeat grade two during their primary education. The rate of repetition in grade two was 18 percent in Cabo Verde, which was double the average of other primary grades.

Cabo Verde‘s high enrollment and literacy rates show that education is a priority in the country. By addressing its students’ obstacles to learning, it can ensure that they get the most out of the education they are receiving.

Fernando Vazquez

Photo: Google

Common Diseases in Cabo Verde

Vaccines have been a luxury for the leading countries of the world, but for poor countries, accessing them is much more difficult. Some diseases are preventable with a vaccine, but there are many that are not. Due to the poverty in Cabo Verde, diseases that can’t be prevented with a vaccine are just as common as the ones that can.

These are some common diseases in Cabo Verde that can be treated with a vaccine:

  1. Hepatitis A
    Hepatitis A is transmitted through contaminated food and water or through physical contact between people. Symptoms can take up to two weeks to appear and include jaundice or elevation of liver enzymes. In Cabo Verde, it is most common where the environment and drinking water are unclean.Hepatitis A typically lasts less than two months’ time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “supportive care” is the best form of treatment. There are two vaccines available to prevent Hepatitis A — Vaqta and Harvix — which can be used on patients at least a year old.
  2. Hepatitis B
    According to the CDC, an estimated 248 million around the world people are infected with Hepatitis B. This disease is transmitted typically through blood and other fluids that are produced by the body. This can happen through the sharing of needles, unprotected sex and exposure to blood. Hepatitis B infects the liver and its symptoms are abdominal pain, jaundice, anorexia, vomiting and fatigue.For those with chronic Hepatitis B, antiviral drugs are available, otherwise, there is no direct treatment for it. There is a vaccine that is administered in three separate doses as a preventative measure.
  3. Yellow Fever
    Yellow Fever is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that is carrying the disease. Young children are the most likely to contract it because immunity is developed as people age. In Cabo Verde, Yellow Fever becomes a problem beginning in July when the weather becomes dry and typically ends in October.There are no direct treatments for Yellow Fever. Those that contract Yellow Fever are advised to rest, use analgesics and antipyretics to control the symptoms and avoid another mosquito bite. In Cabo Verde, it is required that travelers are vaccinated before entering the country. Revaccination is no longer required as of July of 2016, but proof of a vaccination is needed when leaving Cabo Verde and entering a new country.

These are some communicable common diseases in Cabo Verde that cannot be treated with a vaccine:

  1. African Tick-Bite Fever
    African Tick-Bite Fever is spread through the bite of ticks that are infected with the disease. Symptoms are typically soreness of muscles, rash and fever which typically appear two weeks after the bite. In Cabo Verde, the disease is most common from November through April.
  2. Chikungunya
    Chikungunya is a disease that is spread through mosquito bites. Those infected typically experience joint and muscle pain, fever, headache and rash. The mosquitoes carrying the disease are most active during the day near buildings in major cities.
  3. Dengue
    Like Chikungunya, Dengue is spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Its symptoms develop over the course of two weeks and are often fever, rash, muscle, joint and eye pain and vomiting. Some cases are more severe and bleeding, intense or even death can occur. Mosquitoes carrying Dengue are often found at an elevation of 6,500 feet and bite at any time in the day.

Prevention of common diseases in Cabo Verde is an important aspect for each citizen. Knowing what vaccinations are available and what measures to take when there isn’t one could keep the country from plummeting into a disastrous epidemic.

Mackenzie Fielder

Photo: Flickr

Diseases in Cabo VerdeJust west of Senegal lies a cluster of islands in the Atlantic Ocean called Cabo Verde, also known as Cape Verde. Only slightly larger that the state of Rhode Island, the islands are home to just over half a million people. With poor natural resources and often severe water shortages, the economy is largely service-oriented with little diversification. Today, reforms aim to develop the private sector and attract investment. Here are the top diseases in Cabo Verde:

Cerebrovascular Disease
Referring to disorders of ischemia or bleeding in the brain, cerebrovascular disease often leads to cases of stroke. In 2015, it was recorded that cerebrovascular disease had consistently been the most lethal of the top diseases in Cabo Verde for the past decade. Although it remains the archipelago’s most dangerous disease, instances of cerebrovascular disease had decreased by 4.7 percent over the decade.

Ischemic Heart Disease
Ischemic heart disease, also called coronary artery disease, refers to problems resulting from narrowed arteries of the heart. Such a disease can lead to a heart attack. In 2015, ischemic heart disease was recorded as Cabo Verde’s second most common cause of death. Fortunately, the prevalence of the disease has actually decreased by 4.3 percent since the previous decade.

Lower Respiratory Infections
Referring to infections of the lower respiratory system such as bronchiolitis, influenza, acute bronchitis and pneumonia, lower respiratory infections account for high death rates around the world. However, lower respiratory infections are communicable and can be treated if given proper care and attention. Lower respiratory infections are currently the third most fatal of the top diseases in Cabo Verde. However, since 2015, instances of the disease in the archipelago were reported to have decreased by 12.3 percent.

As previously mentioned, every one of the top diseases in Cabo Verde has been decreasing in prevalence since 2005. Additionally, in January of 2014, Cabo Verde opened the doors of the National Institute of Health of Cape Verde, an organization founded on the core value of universal health access. With this new development, the international community may see that the nation is dedicated to providing a higher standard of healthcare to their people.

Shannon Golden

Photo: Google

Education in Cabo Verde
Unknown to many people around the world, there is a small country made up of 10 islands and five islets off the west coast of Africa called Cabo Verde. The country has faced and continues to face many obstacles such as a lack of natural resources, drought and poor land for farming. Despite these challenges, the country remains prosperous and continues to see improvements in its education system. Here are some things to know about education in Cabo Verde.

Four Educational Groups
Education in Cabo Verde is broken up into four sectors: pre-primary, for children ages three to five; primary, from ages six to 11; secondary, for students 12 to 17 and tertiary, the country’s version of college. Only education from the age of 6 to 15 is mandatory.

Large-Scale Changes in 1975
In 1975, Cabo Verde gained its independence. Before its separation from Portugal, the literacy rate in Cabo Verde was only at 40%. As of 2015, the literacy rate in the country has doubled to an impressive 80%.

Improved School Attendance
In 2007, about 5,000 children were not attending school in Cabo Verde. As of 2015, that number has gone down to less than 1,000 students out of school. While there are still efforts to be made to ensure that every child attends school, this tremendous improvement in less than ten years is impressive.

Investments in Education
As of 2013, about 15% of the government’s yearly expenditure was going towards education. This percentage is higher than in many countries around the world such as the U.S., which spends about six percent of public spending annually on education.

Providing Necessary Tools
The school system in Cabo Verde does its best to provide all students with what they need to succeed in school. Textbooks are now available to 90% of students in the country. Additionally, 83% of teachers have attended in-service teacher training.

While education in Cabo Verde is not perfect, the country has made impressive advances since its independence in 1975. Almost all children in the country attend school and can read. Additionally, the government works toward improving its education system by providing all that they can. Cabo Verde may be a tiny and unknown nation, but their educational successes make them a great example for countries like them around the world.

Olivia Hayes

Photo: Flickr

Cabo Verde Migrants
The Republic of Cabo Verde (or Cape Verde) consists of 10 islands and 5 islets off the west coast of Africa. Originally a colony of Portugal, Cabo Verde gained its independence in 1975. It currently runs under a multi-party system with both a prime minister and a president.

Despite the area’s lack of natural resources and droughts, the country found stability. Migration is a huge part of that. Men, in particular, emigrate to countries like the United States and Portugal in search of work so they can send money back home to their families.

Here are 10 facts about Cabo Verde migrants:

  1. There are more Cabo Verde migrants than there are residents in the Republic of Cabo Verde. The 20th century saw a huge fluctuation of emigration after droughts plagued the islands. Most migrated to the eastern coast of the United States or Portugal, but there are also Cabo Verdeans in Senegal, the Netherlands, France and Angola.
  2. Many Cabo Verde migrants are deported back home because of their involvement in drugs, crime and improper documentation. Males are most likely to return, and this caused an increase in important roles for women.
  3. Migrants that are deported back to Cabo Verde do not have access to a program to initiate them back into the society, which makes life at home difficult.
  4. Those returning from the United States have difficulty remembering the Creole language of Cabo Verde and struggle to find a job.
  5. The 2016 push for tighter immigration laws in the United States threatened to deport nearly 400 Cabo Verde migrants. Executive orders to speed up the deportation process in the United States only increased that threat.
  6. Migrating an important for many Cabo Verde people because it allows them to send money to their families. Working outside of the country brings in foreign currency that helps stabilize both family incomes and the nation’s economy.
  7. To help Cabo Verde migrants, an International Commission established the Ministry of Emigrated Communities. This institution worked to fund migration and make it easier for Cabo Verdeans to remain in countries outside of their own in order to work. The immigration policies of other countries have led to some conflict, but this representation is important for Cabo Verdeans.
  8. Some Cabo Verdean migrants want to pursue higher education. In 2009, the number of migrants from Cape Verde who had received a higher education was at 11%. At the same time, more than 54% of Cape Verde migrants held positions in health care.
  9. Most of the wealth in Cabo Verde comes from migrants who are working abroad and sending money home. This is visible on the islands by the large houses and expensive cars. It is crucial that migration remains an option for Cabo Verdeans.
  10. In 2010, the European Union worked with Cabo Verde on a project to “promote legal mobility between Cabo Verde and the EU by enhancing cooperation on migration and development issues while combating irregular migration.” The EU wanted to find a productive and agreeable use for the skills that Cabo Verde emigrants possessed when they returned home. They also wanted to find a successful way for Cabo Verdeans to continue migrating to new countries.

Migration isn’t currently popular in places like the United States. However, for those living in Cabo Verde, it is one of the best options for economic and social stability.

Mackenzie Fielder

Photo: Flickr

water access in Cabo VerdeSitting off the coast of West Africa, the islands of Cabo Verde are surrounded by ocean. Unfortunately, more than half the population does not have access to clean, running water. Accessing water in Cabo Verde is a difficult issue. It can take up to an hour for some to reach the nearest fountain. However, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is working with the Cabo Verde government in order to improve water access in Cabo Verde.

Limited water access primarily affects women and the poor,  groups not often represented in policy dialogue. Trips to retrieve water can take hours. Often the public tap is empty, thus requiring a longer trip to the next available fountain. More than half of those without water receive it from these community fountains. The rest receive it from private tankers, meaning the poorest pay the most for water. The time it takes to retrieve the water limits possibilities to earn income and educational opportunities.

There are many risks associated with these time-consuming trips to retrieve water. Women and girls are most often on these water trips, and  sexual harassment and violence are significant threats. Additionally, potentially-contaminated water makes possible dangerous water-borne illnesses such as cholera.

Fifty-nine percent of people in Cabo Verde have access to piped water in their home. More concerning, only 20 percent of the population connects to a sewer, and 27 percent must resort to open defecation. As a result, this makes sanitation standards difficult and allows diseases to spread even more rapidly.

Partnering with the government, the MCC is working to develop improved clean water access in Cabo Verde, from providing clean tap water systems to installing safe waste-water removal. The MCC is currently working on connecting 13,000 families, with single mothers in the lead, to clean water and sanitation infrastructure. Additionally, they are planning their strategies based on the input of the women and other disenfranchised populations.

With women and the poor becoming involved in the decision-making process, they can tailor the project to fit their needs and increase the likelihood of success. Improved water access in Cabo Verde will thus  allow women to participate in the economy by pursuing educational and employment opportunities and reduce their risk of harassment and water-borne illnesses.

The improved quality of life that will accompany improved water access in Cabo Verde is clear. With the voices of women and the poor now being heard, the future of Cabo Verde is consequently very promising.

Kelly Hayes

Photo: Flickr