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Peru – Health Issues

Peru is a country located in South America with a diverse population of over 33 million people. Like many countries, Peru faces various health issues that impact its population. In this article, we will explore some of the common health issues affecting the population of Peru and examine the country’s attitudes towards smoking and the legislation in place to regulate it.

Common Health Issues in Peru

Malnutrition

Malnutrition is a significant health issue in Peru, particularly among children under five years old. According to a report by UNICEF, nearly 15% of children under five in Peru suffer from chronic malnutrition, which can have long-term consequences on their health and development. Malnutrition is caused by inadequate intake of essential nutrients or by infections that prevent the body from absorbing these nutrients.

Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases are a significant public health issue in Peru, particularly in rural areas. Malaria, dengue fever, and Zika virus are prevalent in certain regions of the country. The incidence of tuberculosis is also high in Peru, with over 29,000 new cases reported in 2019.

Non-Communicable Diseases


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Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are also a growing concern in Peru. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), NCDs are responsible for 73% of all deaths in Peru. The rise in NCDs is attributed to factors such as an aging population, lifestyle changes, and urbanization.

Mental Health

Mental health is another significant health issue in Peru. A study by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) found that around 7.6% of adults in Peru suffer from depression, and 3.3% have anxiety disorders. However, mental health services in the country are limited, with only 0.03 psychiatrists per 10,000 population, according to WHO.

Smoking in Peru

Prevalence of Smoking

Smoking is prevalent in Peru, with approximately 20% of the adult population smoking tobacco products. The prevalence of smoking is higher among men, with 27% of men smoking compared to only 12% of women. According to a report by the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, around 17% of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 15 in Peru use tobacco products.

Attitudes Towards Smoking

The attitudes towards smoking in Peru are changing, with more people recognizing the harmful effects of smoking. However, smoking is still socially accepted in certain settings, particularly among men. According to a study by PAHO, 40% of male smokers in Peru reported smoking in the presence of others, compared to only 11% of female smokers.

Legislation on Smoking

Peru has comprehensive tobacco control legislation in place to regulate smoking. The Law on the Prevention and Control of Consumption of Tobacco Products was enacted in 2011 and prohibits smoking in enclosed public spaces, workplaces, and public transportation. The law also requires tobacco products to carry graphic health warnings covering 50% of the package and bans all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.

Peru faces various health issues that impact its population, including malnutrition, infectious diseases, NCDs, and mental health. Smoking is prevalent in Peru, particularly among men, and although attitudes towards smoking are changing, it is still socially accepted in certain settings. However, the country has comprehensive tobacco control legislation in place to regulate smoking and protect public health. The challenges facing Peru’s healthcare system highlight the importance of continued efforts to address health issues and improve access to healthcare for all.


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