The prime or lead agency in the area is the Ministry of Health. It creates and set-up health policies and brings out general standards and plans, manages and assesses compliance with them. The main programs of the said agency have been various comprehensive methods, as well as prevention, promotion, rehabilitation and treatment. It also set-up the specific prevention programs together with control of respiratory diseases, control of the red tide, food supplements, immunization and also programs that distinguish the breast cancer and uterine cervix. In 1998, the country has 17,467 doctors and approximately 18,000 nurses employed in the public areas.
Life expectation at birth m/f (years): 75/81; healthy life anticipation at birth m/f is 65/70 (2003); possibility of dying below five for every 1,000 live births is 9; chance of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f for every 1,000 population is 121/60. As of 2005, the total expenses on health of GDP are 5.4% and health per capita (Intl $) is 668.
The common diseases encountered in the country are HIV/AIDS (the primary victims are people in urban areas and men who have sexual intercourse with the same sex); circulatory disorders (mainly cause of death and disability); neoplasms (larger occurrence of cancers of the digestive organs); zoonoses; chronic infectious diseases; intestinal infectious diseases (epidemic of cholera); and Acute respiratory infections.
With the support of the Ministry of Health's Epidemiology Department, the Public Health Institute initiates epidemiological observation. This institute observes the national system in controlling the cosmetics, food, medical articles, pharmaceutical products and pesticides for sanitary.