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Syncrisis: the dynamics of health. An analytic series on the interactions of health and socioeconomic development. V. El Salvador.
Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, October 1972. (Syncrisis: The Dynamics of Health, No. 5) 53 pThis brief overview focuses on the basic health situation in El Salvador. An attempt is made to point to the interactions between health and other sectors in the hope that this will influence others to think in the direction of multisector influences. The 3 main health problems in El Salvador relate to nutrition, health services, and sanitation. There is a tremendous burden placed on a society by a weak and ill population, and this is especially true in El Salvador where over 1/2 the children are malnourished and simple childhood diseases are often fatal. However, there seem to be no government or other programs to alleviate this problem, and nutrition is only dealt with in relation to adult literacy programs. Improvement of the nutritional status of the population would benefit the health and well being of the population. Regarding the availability of health services, some form of health facility is available to 85.6% of the population, but over 1/2 these facilities are not permanently staffed. There are, however, more sophisticated facilities which are fairly evenly distributred throughout the country. Deaths which are not certified by a physician are at a high of 65%, indicating that medical care was not available at or near the time of death for the majority of those dying. The country has a good transportation system; there are not any obvious cultural barriers to seeking modern medical care, and yet the people of El Salvador, young and old alike die from a lack of care. It is encouraging that in the area of sanitation there is at least much activity. Poor sanitation is 1 of the basic underlying causes for a large percentage of the diseases, and until this problem is resolved, the country will continue to experience preventable diseases.