Search the A Belarus Miscellany Web site
"The Ministry states that by early 2001, the number of officially registered drug addicts amounted to over 7 thousand people, which is 26.7% more than in 1999. This is to say that the real amount of drug users throughout the country equals to approximately 100 thousand, reports Accumulator Novostei. Their average age is 15-25 years, females constitute 18.4% of the total number. Almost half of the folks stood trial in the past, 70% are jobless, and 75% have no family."
Source: Charter '97, April 9, 2001
"Tsybin stated that the unfavorable demographic situation, characterized by the growing mortality rates, ensues alcohol and drug addiction, which, in its turn, contributes to the escalating number of suicides. The expert explained that the countries are usually split into four groups, starting from the safest one and ending with the most dangerous. Belarus is about to join the latter. 'The Ministry is extremely alarmed by the fact that over the last three years cases of people's doing themselves in come up third among all death causes after traumas and poisonings,' - added Alexander Tsybin. Medics pay greater attention to the evidence that 2/3 of suicides are committed by drunks. As far as five years ago no such connection has been discovered, the alcohol addiction must be quickly gaining ground in Belarus, which seriously impairs person's psychological condition."
Source: Charter '97, April 5, 2001
"A natural decrease in the country's population has been observed since 1994. It has decreased by more than 300,000 people in the last 6 years, the longest population decline in Belarus' history caused by natural reasons. In January-August 2000, 9.4 people were born per 1,000 compared with about 14 people in 1990. The death rate in these years was 10.7 and 13.6 people per 1,000, respectively."
"The main causes of deaths in Belarus are diseases of the blood circulation system, which account for 53 percent of the total number of deaths, cancers (14 percent) and accidents, poisonings and injuries (12 percent). Before, population declines were caused by epidemics, for instance, the plague of 1563-1566, and wars. More than 50 percent of the Belarusian population perished as a result of the 1654-1667 war between the alliance of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Litva, and Moscow. The 1700-1721 Nothern war killed one third of the Belarusian population. About 1.2 million Belarusians died during World War I. Population growth slowed under Josef Stalin's rule. In the period from 1927 to 1932, the Belarusian population increased by 720,000 while by only 220,000 from 1933 to 1938."
"Belarus' population reached the 10-million level twice in the country's history in 1939 and 1986. In 1939, Belarus' population was 11 million after the annexation of Western Belarus to the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1939-1940, the USSR government gave the Vilnya (Vilnius) province to Lithuania and the Belarusian population dropped to 10.5 million."
"World War II killed about 3 million Belarusians and displaced 1 million. Belarus' population was about 6.3 million in 1945. The return and re-evacuation of people who left the country during the war resulted in a sharp increase in the population. In 1950, more than 7.7 million people lived in the country."
"The transfer of the Bialystok district and three districts in the Brest region to Poland and labor migration to Siberia caused another drop in the population. In 1951 and 1952, Belarus' population decreased by 88,000 people, and in 1954 by 28,000. A lengthy population growth that followed brought the number of Belarusians to 8 million in 1958, 9 million in 1970 and 10 million in 1986."
"Since 1994, the population has decreased by 20,000 to 40,000 every year."
Source: BelaPAN, No. 165; Thursday, November 9, 2000; 7:00 p.m.
"Larisa Sokolovskaya, Belarus' deputy minister of health, said that 4,500 pediatricians in Belarus supervise about 2 million children from birth to the age of 14. The baby death rate in the country dropped from 11.3 per mill a few years ago to 9.3 per mill at present. Belarus has one of the lowest baby death rates in the CIS, Ms. Sokolovskaya said."
"Up to 30 percent of all the deaths occur because of gynecological diseases of the mothers, she said. Ms. Sokolovskaya said that the proportion of healthy children falls sharply at the school age. The most widespread diseases among school children are shortsightedness and scoliosis."
Source: BelaPAN, No. 66; Thursday, June 15, 2000; 6:00 p.m.
"Mr. Silyava warned that the proportion of children will drop to 13-15 percent in ten years from 20 percent at present as a result of a fall in the number of births. Mr. Silyava was speaking on the occasion of the Family Day observed in Belarus on May 15."
"Mr. Silyava said that 93,000 children were born in Belarus in 1999, 50,000 less than in 1990 and 73,000 less than in 1985."
"He pointed out that the average birth rate per woman is 1.226 child in Belarus whereas it must be 2.15 to keep the population from shrinking. Mr. Silyava said the main reasons for the decline in births were social and economic hardships, potential parents' fear that the health of their children will be affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident's consequences, and a change in society's mentality."
"Mr. Silyava said that from 10 to 20 percent of the Belarusian families cannot have children because of health problems of one of the spouses."
Source: BelaPAN, No. 43; Friday, May 12, 2000; 5:50 p.m.
"The opening of the center is scheduled for April 20 , reported the US Information Service in Minsk. The center, which is based at Mozyr's maternity home, will be the second establishment of the kind in Belarus. The first center was opened in Minsk in 1998. There are 12 women's wellness centers in seven CIS countries."
"The new center will provide health, family planning, first aid, and reproductive health protection services for about 4,000 women every year."
"Officials of the Belarusian Health Ministry, the Gomel regional government, and the US Embassy; and representatives of AIHA are expected to attend the opening ceremony."
Source: BelaPAN, No. 79; Wednesday, April 19, 2000; 1:50 p.m.
"According to official sources, the Mahileau region's medical institutions currently employ more than 4,200 doctors, who fill 96 percent of all doctor positions."
"Ninety-nine percent of the auxiliary positions are filled. It is known, however, that many employees combine two or more jobs. The Slavgorod district suffers from an acute shortage of otolaryngologists. The Krasnopolye district lacks anesthetists. The Glussk district has slightly more than 50 percent of pediatricians it needs. The city ambulance station in Mogilyov has about 30 percent of the pediatrician positions vacant."
"In all, the region needs more than 400 doctors, including 50 dentists, 70 pediatricians and 150 therapists. The authorities view a lack of housing as the main factor that causes the shortage of doctors."
Source: BelaPAN, No. 74; Tuesday, April 18, 2000; 6:20 p.m.
"Valery Murokha, an expert in food quality and safety, told reporters in Minsk on April 3  that behind these figures is the lack of a state nutritional policy. He said that the Ministries of Agriculture and Foodstuffs and of Health do not coordinate their policies."
"The expert said that the unbalanced diet is directly linked with a high proportion of deaths caused by coronary diseases -- 143 deaths per 100,000 people, and a large number of people in the so-called diabetes risk group. The common causes of these diseases is an excess of fat, alcohol, and sugar in food."
"Mr. Murokha said that the Belarusians consume 30 kilograms of meat per capita a year, the Russians 45 kilograms, and the Poles 60 kilograms. Pork accounts for 56 percent of the meat consumed by the Belarusians."
Source: BelaPAN, No. 6; Monday, April 3, 2000; 7:50 p.m.
"The death rate in 1999 was 13.4 percent per 1,000 people compared with 6.6 percent in 1960."
"Life expectancy was 68.5 years last year -- 74.3 years for women and 62.2 years for men."
Source: BelaPAN, No. 6; Monday, April 3, 2000; 7:50 p.m.
"Gennady Gurevich, deputy director of the health ministry's Pulmonology and Tuberculosis Institute, linked the new outbreak of tuberculosis in Belarus and worldwide with more active international contacts and migration. He referred to WHO statistics showing that 30 percent of all migrants have tuberculosis. Mr. Gurevich also noted the emergence of recalcitrant forms of tuberculosis, which raise the price of treatment from $2,000 to $20,000, as well as a continuous increase in the number of HIV and AIDS patients, who are 30 times more vulnerable to tuberculosis than others."
"In terms of the TB incidence, Belarus occupies a place between Poland, which has 36 cases per 100,000, and Ukraine, which has 56 cases per 100,000. Around the world, the rate varies from 5-9 in Scandinavia to 145 in Georgia. Experts, however, express concern over the fast pace at which the disease is spreading. In Minsk, TB patients increase in number by 17.6 percent every year."
"Larisa Belyakova-Grabovskaya, chief of the interior ministry's Medical Support Directorate, told reporters about the tuberculosis situation in Belarusian prisons. According to her, the TB incidence has risen there by 218 percent in the last five years and amounted to 1,658 cases in 1998, i.e. was 30 times higher than the country's average. In some correctional institutions, the rate was even 50-100 times higher than in Belarus on the whole."
"Since 1999, according to Ms. Belyakova-Grabovskaya, all prisoners undergo compulsory X-ray testing and receive vitamins. As a result, she said, no further increase in the number of TB cases has been registered in 2000."
Source: BelaPAN, No. 100; Friday, March 24, 2000; 8:30 p.m.
"The epidemic was less intensive than the one that hit Belarus last year, Lyudmila Mosina, the center's official, told BelaPAN. Sixty percent of the flu sufferers were adults, unlike in previous years when children were the most affected group. In Soligorsk in the Minsk region, more than 1,000 out of 10,000 people complained of flu and cold, the highest incidence in Belarus. More than 200,000 people or 12 percent of the population consulted doctors about flu in Minsk."
"More than 2,000 people were hospitalized with children aged under 14 accounting for two thirds of the hospital admissions, Ms. Mosina said."
"One person, a 69-year-old man, died of flu this year. Seven people died of flu-provoking complications during the 1999 epidemic."
"The center monitors the flu incidence in all regional and 12 largest district centers, including Baranovichi, Molodechno, Polotsk, Borisov, Pinsk, Lida and Orsha."
Source: BelaPAN, No. 97; Friday, March 24, 2000; 5:30 p.m.
"Viktor Chelnov, chief sanitary physician of Minsk, told reporters in Minsk on March 21 that Minsk residents live 70.7 years on the average. Men in Minsk live 65.4 years and women 75.7 years. The Belarusians' life expectancy is 69.7 years. Men live 64.2 years and women 75 years."
"Mr. Chelnov expressed concern about Minsk's sanitary and hygienic condition. He said that that the conditions of labor, life, nourishment, education, healthcare and rehabilitation in the city do not meet sanitary requirements. Most of the city residents consume little protein, vitamin and mineral substances, Mr. Chelnov said. There are shortages in supply of baby food, especially for children under 1 year."
"The number of registered industrial injuries and diseases remains very high, Mr. Chelnov said. The quality of tap water has been deteriorating, he said. The percentage of water samples that do not meet sanitary standards rose from 5.3 in 1997 to 5.5 in 1998 and 7.2 in 1999 as a result of depreciation of pipes, Mr. Chelnov said. There were 52 water leaks from the water delivery pipe in 1999, up from 34 in 1998."
"The level of air pollution remains high, Mr. Chelnov said. Pollution from factories dropped from 120,000 tons in 1990 to 39,000 tons in 1999, while pollution of air by car exhaust gases rose to more than 70,000 tons in 1999. The percentage of polluted samples of air in recreational and park zones in Minsk rose from 6.4 percent in 1998 to 7.3 percent in 1999."
"Air pollution is the main reason for a high incidence of respiratory diseases, which account for 55.8 percent of the total number of illnesses. Injuries and poisonings account for 10.6 percent, diseases of the nervous system for 7.1 percent, infectious diseases for 4.7 percent."
"More than 100 cubic meters of industrial and household waste is produced for one Minsk resident per year. Of the 2 million tons of waste produced last year, about 200,000 cubic meters is toxic waste. Mr. Chelnov said that the Minsk government faces waste disposal problems, and that a dump site for toxic waste should be build as soon as possible."
Source: BelaPAN, No. 78; Tuesday, March 21, 2000; 5:20 p.m.
"TB rose by 62.5 percent in Belarus the period from 1990 to 1998. The rate of the infection in 1998 was about 55 TB patients for 100,000 people. The Gomel and Mogilyov regions are the worst affected. The TB infection rate here is 74.3 and 60.1 cases for 100,000 people, respectively. TB infection rate in the rural areas is 40 percent higher than in the cities. Up to 40 percent of TB patients are homeless, people who return home after serving a term in prison and those who abuse alcohol. The TB infection rate in prisons is 30 times higher than the average in the country. Experts blame the TB rise on falling living standards, the insufficient funding of anti-TB establishments and irregular supplies of drugs."
"The new program provides for measures to diagnose the disease at an early stage, ensure better treatment, combat TB in reformatory establishments, ensure supplies of necessary equipment and drugs, build new and renovate the existing anti-TB establishments and finance TB-related research. The program will be financed out of budgetary funds earmarked for health care and investment programs."
Source: BelaPAN, No. 133; Saturday, October 30, 1999; 4:40 p.m.
"One unit of equipment for dioxin tests costs $200,000 and one test about $2,500, Mr. Filonov said. The only way to stop poisoned meat from reaching the food chain was the imposition of a ban on the import of meat from Europe and the Baltics, Mr. Filonov stressed. He pointed out that Belarus has not been importing chicken meat from Belgium since March 18 this year."
"Asked about the ministry's response to reports that Belgian teenagers were poisoned after drinking Coca-Cola products, Mr. Filonov said the ministry had 'sent necessary official enquiries, including to Russia.' "
Source: BelaPAN, No. 76; Thursday, June 17, 1999; 5:50 p.m.
"Jurgen Kronenberger, head of the Minsk delegation, said at a news conference in Minsk on April 1 that TB will infect about 1 billion and kill 70 million people worldwide unless serious international action is taken to combat the disease. He cited the data of the World Health Organization."
"Under the program, the Minsk delegation will launch a wide information campaign in the country, provide 720,000 free meals for TB patients, distribute 30,000 food and hygienic parcels, train 118 visiting nurses, buy 20 microscopes and drugs for treating 100 patients."
"According to Anton Romanovsky, president of the Belarusian Red Cross, TB has doubled in Belarus since 1990 and the number of deaths from TB rose by 50 percent. The TB incidence rate in Belarus is 54.9 for 100,000 people, 10 times as high as in the developed countries in Western Europe. The TB incidence rate is higher than the average in 74 districts and towns. In the Gomel and Mogilyov region, the rate has reached 74.3 and 60.1, respectively. The TB incidence rate is 1,666 for 100,000 people among the prison population."
"Belarus' medical institutions have registered 20,204 TB patients, of which 5,618 are bacterium carriers capable of infecting up to 20 people."
Source: BelaPAN, No. 9; Friday, April 2, 1999; 4:10 p.m.
"Surveys show that the diet of an average Belarusian contains too much cholesterol and carbohydrate and loo little fruits and vegetables. The Ministry of Health points out that the problem of food quality is pressing in many European countries, where about half of the men and women at the age of 65 die of diseases caused by an unbalanced diet."
Source: BelaPAN, No. 7; Wednesday, September 2, 1998; 6:40 p.m.
Return to the Health Care and the Legacy of the Chornobyl Disaster Web page Return to the A Belarus Miscellany Topic List
Search the A Belarus Miscellany Web site
Original content and overall form ©1996-2004 by
Peter Kasaty : All Rights
Reserved. Last Updated: 2001/04/09
Quoted Text, Graphics, Links, and Linked Content belong to their respective owners.