10 Facts About Life Expectancy in Argentina
Between 2010 and 2014, mortality from HIV/AIDS rose from 3.2 deaths per 100,000 people to 3.4 deaths per 100,000. Some people in Argentina also face water scarcity, a lack of basic services and supplies, low wages and limited access to food markets. These 10 facts about life expectancy in Argentina display the quality of life and health of Argentinians.

10 Facts About Life Expectancy in Argentina

  1. Over the years, life expectancy has increased for Argentina‘s citizens, reaching 76.7 years in 2017 while it was just over 65 in 1960.
  2. Due to Argentina’s increased focus on allocating resources frugally, creating a relatively high inpatient service availability and undergoing rapid socioeconomic development, Argentina’s improving health care system has worked to optimize available medical resources. These resources help sustain and slowly increase the average life expectancy in Argentina to 77 years, four more than the global average.
  3. Access to affordable clean drinking water in Argentina has dramatically improved over the last two decades while millions still encounter drinking water contaminants dangerous to public health. According to a book by Eileen Stillwaggon, Argentina has “Twenty thousand child deaths a year from avoidable causes, such as summer diarrhea…” The spread of disease with relative ease creates grim conditions for Argentina’s working and lower class, who have comparatively inadequate health care. Currently, 84 percent of residents have access to water from a public grid, while 58 percent have access to sanitation services. According to the World Health Organization, approximately half the population has no proper waste disposal service. The socio-economic conditions of the indigenous population in Argentina suggests a fundamental flaw in their health and safety infrastructure, that ultimately allows for the easy spread of disease.
  4. Despite the appearance of affluence and impressive medical infrastructure, the economic disparity between the rich and poor creates disproportionate aid distribution. This disparity explains the unusually high life expectancy, where the rich often live longer and healthier lives near the developed parts of the country. The 40 percent of those impoverished in Argentina have “no unemployment compensation, health coverage or pensions” living in slum conditions due to Argentina’s splintered health care system. As a result, certain areas are more prepared to fight disease outbreaks.
  5. With arduous living and drinking conditions, and most of the poor being children, infant and maternal mortality rates are surprisingly lower than in other countries with a smaller GDP. According to the World Health Organization, maternal mortality declined from 331 deaths to 298, a decline from 4.4 to 3.9 maternal deaths per 10,000 births in certain regions. The maternal mortality rate increased above the global average in other areas.
  6. Chagas disease has infected more than five percent of people in Argentina. With a crippling medical infrastructure, these health hazards fester and allow the spread of disease, where the impoverished live off garbage from dumps with mixtures of industrial and medical waste due to improper disposal.
  7. The percentage of people below the poverty line has decreased by five percent since 2016. COFESA, the federal health council, is working with the national authorities in Argentina to create and implement an effective universal health care system to reintegrate impoverished people back into the workforce. Its primary focusses are specific health problems and the lack of access to medical care in various regions.
  8. Argentina has eliminated many preventable diseases such as measles and rubella. Most universal vaccinations have been very successful with outbreaks of hepatitis A and B on the decline. A study in 2012 confirmed that the rate of measles outbreak has remained steady for almost a decade. Argentina spends seven percent of its GDP on health care initiatives, one of the highest in South America.
  9. Despite 37 percent of Argentina’s population being classified as overweight and 20 percent obese, food protection agencies have developed better public health initiatives to educate people about the dangers of overconsumption. The overall decreased consumption of salt demonstrates the success of these government programs aimed at fixing the conditions of marginalized rural and urban communities and increasing public health along with improved life expectancy.
  10. Infection by Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas disease) affected 2.5 percent of pregnant women and 5.7 percent of children during pregnancy and leading up to delivery. Infections in pregnant women are of paramount importance due to the relative ease of passing diseases onto offspring.

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay created a joint initiative to study the socio-economic conditions of the more rural regions to discover why diseases plague certain parts of their countries and not others. With an increasing life expectancy, Argentina’s has one of the largest labor forces in the world. Universal access to health care is Argentina’s end goal and some of the information in these 10 facts about life expectancy in Argentina demonstrate that things are looking positive for the future.

– Adam Townsend
Photo: Flickr

The New HIV/AIDS of the AmericasChagas disease, a vector-borne infectious disease that is transmitted through triatomine bugs, has been dubbed “the new HIV/AIDS of the Americas.” Triatomine bugs are also known as “kissing bugs,” because the bugs will bite and defecate near the mouths of humans. Then, humans will touch or rub near their mouths, which is how the disease is spread.

Furthermore, Chagas disease is a type of neglected tropical disease, which have become increasingly virulent in North and South America. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines neglected diseases as being “largely wiped out in the more developed parts of the world and persist only in the poorest, most marginalized communities and conflict areas.” The CDC indicated that people of low socioeconomic status are more susceptible to contracting a neglected tropical disease. People of low socioeconomic status, which are increasingly reflective of minority groups such as women and people of color, are at higher risk of contracting a neglected tropical disease due to a lack of resources.

Like Chagas disease, many neglected tropical diseases are vector-borne, and they must travel through an intermediate host in order to transmit infections to humans. An example of an intermediate host that carries the specific pathogens for an abundance of neglected tropical diseases is the mosquito. Many countries in South America have climates and ecologies that are ideal for mosquitoes to flourish in.

Preventative programs in poor areas are supported by organizations such as the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO). For instance, the CDC and the WHO have both collaborated in order to support the Guinea Worm Eradication Program, which provided surveillance and diagnosed people for Guinea worms, another neglected disease.

Chagas disease is difficult to eradicate due to the fact that more than half of triatomine bugs in the United States carry the disease; however, the CDC reports that the best measures to take in order to prevent the spread of Chagas disease are vector control, blood screening and diagnosis of infection. Diagnosis of infection in pregnant women is especially important, because the disease can spread to their newborns. By continuing to follow these measures, the effect of Chagas disease can be limited, decreasing the burden on vulnerable populations.


Emily Santora

Photo: Flickr

Common diseases in ParaguayAt the heart of South America, Paraguay is one of the poorest countries in the region. 40 percent of its 6.7 million residents live in chronic poverty. For this landlocked nation full of millions of poor, health care is not at the forefront of government policy, as poverty continues to send the population into crisis. As a result, the country has an unfortunately low life expectancy rate and is plagued with various diseases.

Of the many common diseases in Paraguay, a particular few have been of the most concern in the last several years. Among the top causes of death in Paraguay are coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus, influenza and pneumonia, cancer, kidney disease and hypertension.

The diseases with the greatest impact on the population are intestinal infectious diseases. These viruses, parasites and bacteria result in 107.7 annual years of healthy life lost per 100,000 people. Since 1990, the mortality rate of intestinal infectious diseases has increased by 6.1 percent per 100,000 people. Mostly infants die from these diseases, but the mortality rate peaks again for adult women and men ages 60 to 64. The diseases can be a result of unsafe water, poor sanitation and lack of hand washing. The most deadly of these diseases are caused by typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever.

Other infectious diseases are also common in Paraguay. Lower respiratory infections have a mortality rate of about 28 per 100,000 people. Diarrheal diseases, while common, have had a steady decreasing mortality rate since 1990 — a solid 79 percent decrease. Meningitis and tetanus are also common infectious diseases with decreasing mortality rates, while encephalitis and intestinal diseases remain at a steady infection rate.

In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control warned that Zika virus was present in Paraguay. Public health officials reported the virus was being carried and spread by infected mosquitoes, and also warned of the virus’s dangerous lack of symptoms. Pregnant women were at the highest risk, as infection during pregnancy causes harsher symptoms and serious birth defects.

In 2014, the National Eradication Service for Vector-Borne Diseases reported that the vector for the dangerous parasitic Chagas disease was found with increasing frequency in Paraguay. At first it was believed the vector was only found in rural and indigenous areas, but uncleanliness and housing insecurity of other poor areas have caused the vector to find a home between the bricks of houses, which mimic its normal dry habitat. An estimated 165,000 people in the country suffer from chronic Chagas disease. A bite from the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, can potentially be life-threatening.

The life-saving organization, Doctors Without Borders, has worked recently in Paraguay’s rural Chaco region, educating people in isolated communities about Chagas disease and offering screenings to locals. The World Health Organization (WHO) calls Chagas the “neglected tropical disease” because the vast majority of people affected do not have access to diagnosis or treatment. Most people affected experience symptoms without knowing why. Treatment is rapid and proves to be effective.

According to the WHO, in Paraguay, the probability of dying between the ages of 15 and 60 years is 166 for males and 126 for females per 1,000 people. Additionally, the country’s total expenditure on healthcare in 2014 was 9.8 percent of GDP. If Paraguay’s healthcare system were improved to prevent, treat and educate on disease and illness, many lives could be spared. As for now, organizations like Doctors Without Borders will continue to spread hope and educate on the common diseases in Paraguay which affect a majority of the population.

Olivia Cyr

Photo: Flickr