History and Society
A Painful Past
In 1991, after almost 500 years of Portuguese colonial rule and the ensuing civil war, Mozambique was the poorest country in the world. After 27 months of tenacious but fruitful negotiations, the country finally reached a peace agreement in 1992.
The war cost one million lives, resulted in the displacement of four million Mozambicans within the country and a further 1.7 million who were forced to flee across the border. It left in its wake vast destruction of infrastructure, economic breakdown, and loss of existing health care facilities.
Mozambique’s population is relatively young. 45.5% of the population are under the age of 15, and only 3% are over 65. The average life expectancy is 52 years. The causes of this high mortality rate are, among others, lack of knowledge relating to hygiene, poor living conditions, and desolate health care.
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