Egypt is a country in North East Africa which spans to the southwest corner of Asia. It is bordered by Israel and the Gaza strip to the northeast, the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, the Red Sea to the east and south and the Gulf of Aqaba to the east.

Population estimate (2018): 100,243,682

Capital City: Cairo

Currency used: Egyptian Pound

Gross National Income per capita (2013) (PPP international $): 10

Time zone: UTC + 2

Population growth rate (2018): 1.87%

Total fertility rate per woman: 2.94

Languages: Arabic is the official language, French and English are widely spoken by the upper classes.

Key ethnic groups: Egyptians 97%, Nubians, Berbers, Bedouin Arabs, Beja, Dom 2%, European and other 1%.

Religion: Approximately 90% Muslim, 10% Christian.

Literacy: 74%

Climate: Egypt has three types of climate; Mediterranean on the north coast, a hot desert climate in the inland, and a milder desert climate on the coast of the Red Sea. The hot season is from May to October, and the cool season from October to May. In the capital Cairo average temperatures range from 14ºc in January to 28ºc in July.

Health statistics:

Life expectancy at birth (2016): 68/73 (male/female)

Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years: 205/121 (per 1000 population, 2016)

Total expenditure on health per capita (2014): $594

Number of doctors per 1000 population (2014): 0.8

Nursing and midwifery personnel density (per 1000 population, 2014): 1.43

Neonatal mortality rate (per 1000 live births, 2014): 14

Maternal mortality ratio (per 100.000 live births, 2015): 15.9 [26-39]

Births attended by skilled health personnel (2015): 92%

Top 10 causes of death:

Coronary heart disease: 126,312 people / 24.58 % of total

Stroke: 56,710 / 11.04%

Liver disease: 53,687 / 10.45%

Influenza and pneumonia: 22,104 / 4.30%

Diabetes mellitus: 21,045 / 4.10%

Kidney disease: 20,433 / 3.98%

Liver cancer: 17,605 / 3.43%

Low birth weight: 15,761 / 3.07%

Congenital anomalies: 15,723 / 3.06%

Inflammatory/heart: 15,200 / 2.96%

Healthcare system

The healthcare system in Egypt comprises a public and a private sector. Under the public sector the country has universal health care, however, the low standard of public medical facilities leads those who can afford it to opt for private care, which is of a much higher standard. Due to the government’s low investment in healthcare, public medical facilities are underfunded, under-resourced and often insufficiently staffed. There are 660 public hospitals in the country, but only 20% of those are committed to safety and infection control standards. Physicians’ salaries are also low, leading many to seek employment abroad.

On the other hand the private sector has a good reputation in Egypt, offering high standards of care through a network of private medical facilities and providers, as well as private healthcare insurance options. Private medical services are fairly expensive and mainly cater to middle- and high-income groups. Many doctors employed privately have received their training abroad and speak good English. The best medical facilities, including specialist services, are concentrated in the bigger cities, particularly in Cairo. On the other hand, healthcare facilities are very limited in rural areas. Many mosques around the country also provide medical services. These Mosque Clinics operate independently from the government, and often offer a higher standard than public facilities. Their quality and availability often vary between communities, however, they are more common in cities and urban areas. Ancient Egyptian medicine is also still practiced, especially in remote, rural areas, where these methods are sometimes even preferred to modern medicine.