Guatemala is a center for disease monitoring in Latin America. The Center for Disease Control Central American Regional Office was placed in Guatemala City in 2005. Here are four of the top diseases in Guatemala.
- Lower Respiratory Infections
Lower respiratory infections killed about 10,000 people in Guatemala in 2012. It’s possible that lower respiratory infections in Guatemala and other developing nations come from air pollution from solid fuels.
- Neonatal and Nutritional Issues
Neonatal and nutritional issues killed about 600,000 Guatemalans in 2012. Still, Guatemala is working on fighting against it. In 2005, the government strengthened the Extension of Coverage program to provide basic healthcare to even the most vulnerable and impoverished people in rural communities. This program included the World Bank’s Maternal-Infant Health and Nutrition Project, which along with other programs helped reduce malnutrition in children under two years old and helped with other issues related to maternal health.
- HIV, TB and Malaria
About 2,000 people died of HIV, TB or malaria in 2012. Sex workers, sexually active gay men, prison inmates and street children are among those most at risk of contracting AIDs, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Guatemala has adapted prevention standards from the WHO and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to test for and treat HIV.Tuberculosis is spread very quickly in overcrowded areas. One can obtain tuberculosis through contaminated air or certain milk products. Malaria is most present in low altitude areas (not Guatemala City or Antigua). It is spread by the anopheles mosquito. People may get bitten by these mosquitoes without even realizing it because the mosquitoes are silent and do not leave bite marks.
Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should have the most concern about Zika because it causes birth defects. Almost 1,000 pregnant women were suspected of having the Zika virus, and 275 women were confirmed with having it in 2016.
These are just four of the top diseases in Guatemala. The Center for Disease Control and other organizations are working to alleviate these and other diseases in the nation.
– Jennifer Taggart