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Analysis by population group:

Children (0-4 years): Neonatal health services at the main hospital are limited to basic secondary care; tertiary care is not available on the island. More than 99% of all births are assisted by a trained health care professional. From 1996-1999, 58 perinatal deaths occurred, 35 from slow fetal growth and fetal malnutrition. Of the 95 infant deaths 1996-1999, 59% were early neonatal deaths with prematurity the underlying cause in 64% of these. In 1996-1999, 16 deaths occurred in the 1-4 age group, 25% from congenital abnormalities. The immunization program routinely offers DPT, Polio, BCG, MMR . In 1997, coverage with DPT and polio reached 92 and 97%, respectively. No cases of vaccine preventable diseases were reported during 1997-2000. Normal growth is reported for 89.8 percent of children in that age group, but 9.2% were obese 1997-2000. In 1999, 10% of newborns had low birthweight. In 1999, 103 cases of gastroenteritis were reported. Diarrheal diseases caused 2 deaths in 1997, one in 1998 and none in 1999. Only one death in 1999 was recorded from acute respiratory infections.

Schoolchildren (5-9 years): At age 5 all school entrants are screened in the school health program for vision, hearing, anemia, growth and development and general physical health. In 1996-1999, 14 deaths in 5-9 years olds occurred -- 11 were males; 5 were accidental, 3 from motor vehicle accidents and one, homicide.

Adolescences (10-14, 15-19 years): Adolescents represented 22% of the population in 1999; 3% were illiterate. Health risks are alcohol use, other substance abuse, STIs including HIV, violence, accidents and underemployment. During 1996-1998, 78 cases of suicide and attempted suicide were reported -- more than half ( 53%) in adolescents under 18 years. Suicide accounted for 3 deaths. During 1996-1999, 66 deaths were recorded in this age group. The leading causes of death were transport accidents, injury due to violence, other accidents, and epilepsy.

Indigenous Population: In 2000, the Carib Affairs department was established for community development and poverty alleviation. Changes in the socio-economic conditions and increased access to health and education have improved the health status of the Caribs. In 1999, the following health concerns were identified - lack of potable water, solid waste disposal, violence, drug abuse including alcoholism, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections, and helminthiasis. The Carib Territory is served by two health centres.

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