Health

Guatemalans suffer from some of the worst health outcomes in the world.  Besides lack of access to quality care, particularly in rural areas, Guatemala is a country severely affected by malnutrition. Roughly 49% of all children in Guatemala under the age of 5 years are chronically malnourished [1,2]. This is the highest prevalence in Latin America and the fourth highest prevalence in the world [3].  In addition, the Guatemalan Ministry of Health has recently reported that 98% of the country’s water sources are contaminated. [4]


Due to these aforementioned factors, Guatemalan children are extremely vulnerable to parasitic infections, malnutrition, stunted development, anaemia and other life-threatening conditions [5]. In fact 25% of all deaths in Guatemala are attributable to infant mortality.  Health outcomes are particularly bad in the predominantly indigenous Western Highlands.

Return to Previous Page


[1] Benson Agriculture and Food Institute (1999) Diagnostic: Assessing the Food and Nutrition Situation in Rural Guatemala. http://benson.byu.edu/Publication/BI/Lessons/volume21/volume21.htm (accessed October 2006).
[2] World Food Programme (2006) Projected 2006 Needs for World Food Programme Projects and Operations: Guatemala. http://www.wfp.org/country_brief/indexcountry.asp?country5320# (accessed May 2010).
[3] UNICEF (2006) The State of the World’s Children 2006. http://www.unicef.org/publications/index_30398.html (accessed October 2006).
[4] UNICEF (2005) The Big Picture: Guatemala. Press Release. New York: UNICEF.
[5] World Health Organization (2006) International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health problems. http://www3.who.int/icd/currentversion/fr-icd.htm (accessed May 2010).