Bolivia: Country with High Mortality Rates Name Institution Until the election of the President Evo Morales in 2005, Bolivia faced economic and political uncertainty. The two then adversely affected the health status of many citizens, resulting in poor standards of living for the most, especially native Indians (Gritzner & Gritzner, 2004, p.15)…
Location/Geography Bolivia’s total area is over one million square kilometers, which makes it a 28th country in the world by its size (CIA, 2012). Due to its large area and the presence of the Andes Mountain, Bolivia’s climate ranges from pine trees to palm trees (Gritzner & Gritzner, 2004, p.9). However, despite its size, Bolivia has no exit to the ocean (CIA, 2012). Moreover, arable land covers only 2.97 percent of total land area (CIA, 2012). Population In 2012, there were over 12 million persons living in Bolivia (CIA, 2012). However, there are large minorities present, with the whites being a minority: Quechua comprise 30 percent; mestizo, or offspring of white and Amerindian ancestors, comprise 30 percent; Aymara comprise 25 percent; and whites of European ancestry comprise only 15 percent (CIA, 2012). The official language is Spanish, but languages of Quechua and Aymara are spoken as well (CIA, 2012). The population is quite young, with 34.2 percent being younger than 14, and only 4.7 percent being older than 65 (CIA, 2012). Most Native Americans are illiterate and uneducated (Gritzner & Gritzner, 2004, p.15). Government Bolivia is a republic with 112 provinces (Gritzner & Gritzner, 2004, p.79). However, its stability is overshadowed by its violent history. From 1960’s till 1980’s, Bolivia experienced one coup after another (Gritzner & Gritzner, 2004, p. 63). An entire spectrum of systems exchanged, from military oppressions to liberal governments (Gritzner & Gritzner, 2004, p.64). Heritage of revolutions, such as the one by Che Guevara or Simon Bolivar, hinder governmental policies on elimination of coca or inflation (Gritzner & Gritzner, 2004, p.65). Constant coups and revolutions exhausted the country by having created too much instability in the economy. Political instability was also exacerbated by the struggle for water resources by the poor and the multinational company attempting to buy their water resources from the Bolivian government (Gritzner & Gritzner, 2004, p.85). In short, though Bolivia is a democratic country, rule of law and trust in the government are not strong. Economy Since 2005, Bolivia has experienced average economic growth of 4.7 percent (The World Bank, 2012). It is a lower middle income country (The World Bank, 2011). The causes of the increase in GDP are the rise in prices of raw goods, current account surpluses since 2003, and positive fiscal balance since 2006 (The World Bank, 2012). Goods exported are oil, natural gas and minerals (Canadian International Development Agency [CIDA], 2012). Growth decreased inequalities, as poverty decreased from 63 percent in 2002 to 59 percent in 2008 (The World Bank, 2012). Rural poverty decreased by ten percentage points (The World Bank, 2012). However, dependence on raw goods exports and an informal sector make Bolivian economy vulnerable to shocks such as raw goods price fluctuations. Moreover, the indigenous and the women and children are the most vulnerable, as one out of eight Bolivians lives on less than $1.25 a day (CIDA, 2012). State of Health Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in the world in terms of the inequalities and the share of the population below the poverty line. As a result, Bolivia ranked 108th out of 187 countries on the 2011 human development index (HDI) (CIDA, 2012). Child and maternal mortality are among the highest in the world. ...
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