Chad, also known as the Republic of Chad, is located in northern Central Africa. While Chad is home to many different cultural and ethnic groups, Arabic and French are the two official languages of the country, and Christianity and Islam are the two most popular religions. The population in Chad in 2012 was 12,448,200 people according to UNICEF’s Demographic Indicators. Of the total population, 6,904,600 people were under the age of 18 and 2,406,400 people were under the age of 5. The population’s annual growth rate from 2012 to 2030 is estimated to be at 2.9%, partially due to the fact that the fertility rate is high at 6.4. Life expectancy in Chad is quite low, only 50.7 years on average in 2012. This was shocking to me when I compared it to countries like the United States (78.8) or Canada (81.3). I knew that Chad would be lower because it is a developing country, but thinking about the difference of 28-31 years is pretty jaw dropping.
One major problem in Chad is that many of its population live in poverty. The percentage of the population living under the International poverty line of the U.S., $1.25 per day in 2011, was 61.9%. This country wide economic crisis is extremely troublesome in the public health and education spending. The public spending as a percent of the GDP in 2011 allocated to Health was 1.2% and the percentage allocated to education was 2.9%. Fortunately, there are some positive statistics related to the economic position of Chad regarding the rate of progress. The GDP per capita average annual growth rate from 1990 to 2010 was 2.8%.
A major problem in the Health Care system in Chad is the lack of antibiotics and vaccines. Immunization coverage percentages are overall low, ranging from 43-64% depending on the targeted disease. Due to the lack of funding, only 24.2% of routine EPI vaccines were financed by the government in 2012. Education, while it receives more funding than public health, is still lacking in Chad. The literacy rate for males 15-24 years of age in 2012 was 53.6% and for females 15-24 years of age it was 42.2%. This statistic alone brought my attention to the disparity in education between males and females. Another upsetting statistic on education in Chad is the difference in the Secondary school participation, Net attendance ratio (%). For males in 2012, the secondary school participation, Net enrollment ratio was 22%. For females it was 11.6%. While the number is low for both genders, only half the number of females were attending school compared to the males. This disparity in education between the sexes has a significant effect on the life and health of the women of Chad.
The most impactful and upsetting statistic that I gathered from my research on the country of Chad was the extremely high maternal mortality ratio. For every 100,000 live births, 1,100 mothers die due to pregnancy or childbirth complications. Just from looking at the UNICEF statistics I have noticed many factors that seem like they could contribute to this problem. First of all, contraceptive prevalence was only 4.8% in 2012. This could contribute to many pregnancies that were unplanned, unprepared for, or unwanted, as well as the very high fertility rate of the country. The most troublesome statistics in this category, for me, have to do with the lack of prenatal and delivery care. Only 53.2% of women receive at least one antenatal care visit. Even more shocking is the fact that only 23.1% of women receive at least four visits of antenatal care. Only 22.7% of women have a skilled attendant at birth, and only 15.8% of deliveries were institutional. This statistic does vary based on location of the woman as well as the economic standing of the woman. The percentage of skilled attendants at birth in 2012 was 59.6% for women living in urban areas and only 11.6% for women living in rural areas. The percentage of skilled attendants at birth were 61.3% for women of the richest 20% of the country and only 8.1% for the women of the poorest 20% of the country. This points to the aforementioned problem of low public health funding, because there is not even close to being equal access to healthcare in all areas of the country for people of all economic backgrounds. Heartbreakingly, in 2010, as a result of all of these low health standards, the lifetime risk of maternal death was 1 in 15.
UNICEF Country Statistics
Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved July 08, 2016, from http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/chad_statistics.html