News highlights of the week: New health statistics for Mauritius

Expat news
Published on 2023-09-15 at 06:15
New health statistics released by the Department of Health, the launch of a biofuels alliance, and an unusual power outage at the Supreme Court.

Health Statistics Report 2022: Declining birth rate

The Department of Health recently published its annual health report, shedding light on the state of public health in our country. According to the report, as of the end of 2022, the population of Mauritius stood at approximately 1.2 million, showing a slight decrease compared to the previous year. This decline is primarily attributed to a reduction in the number of live births. The report also indicates a drop in the crude birth rate, falling from 9.9 per thousand residents in 2021 to 9.2 in 2022, while the crude death rate remained at 10.3 per thousand residents.

In terms of healthcare infrastructure, the report predicts that by 2022, Mauritius will have 4,857 hospital beds, equating to one bed for every 265 residents. Public hospitals witnessed a significant rise in admissions in 2022 compared to the previous year, with a bed occupancy rate of 70.3%. Furthermore, the country had approximately 3,800 doctors in 2022, including 1,100 specialists. Of these, 1,660 doctors (comprising 43.7% of the total), including 400 specialists, were employed in the public sector. This translates to roughly 30 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants.

The data also reveal an increase in tobacco and alcohol consumption in 2022. Cigarette consumption per person rose from 794 in 2021 to 870 in 2022, while alcohol consumption reached 48.9 liters per capita.

Finally, the report underscores the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on excess mortality and natural population growth. In 2022, the country experienced "negative" natural growth due to the high number of deaths and the decline in live births.

Mauritius as a founding member of a biofuels alliance

During an official ceremony in New Delhi last Saturday evening, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the establishment of the Global Biofuels Alliance, attended by several world leaders, including Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth. This alliance already includes India, Brazil, the United States, Argentina, Canada, Italy, South Africa, Bangladesh, Singapore, Mauritius, the United Arab Emirates, and other members of the G20 group. It has also garnered interest from 19 countries and 12 international institutions.

The primary aim of the Global Biofuels Alliance is to facilitate international cooperation in sustainable biofuels trade and research. This initiative reflects the increasing global pressure for an energy transition, similar to the International Solar Alliance launched in 2015 by New Delhi and Paris, which promotes clean and affordable solar energy.

The alliance will concentrate on several key areas, including strengthening biofuel markets, promoting global trade in the biofuels sector, developing policies, and offering technical support to national biofuel programs worldwide. Collaborating with international organizations and other initiatives focused on bioenergy, the bioeconomy, and the energy transition, such as the Ministerial Platform on Clean Energy for the BioFuture, the Bioenergy Innovation Mission initiatives, and the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP), the Alliance is committed to playing a pivotal role in advancing sustainable biofuels worldwide.

Power outage disrupts Supreme Court operation

This Thursday morning, an unusual incident occurred at the Supreme Court as several courtrooms suddenly plunged into darkness due to a power outage within the building. This unexpected interruption disrupted ongoing proceedings, leaving staff, lawyers, and the public uncertain about the continuation of scheduled trials and hearings for the day. Those present were asked to vacate the premises, and all previously scheduled cases were postponed to a later date, resulting in a temporary suspension of judicial activities initially planned for the morning starting at 9:30 am.

Thierry Ramasawmy, Corporate Communications Manager of the Central Electricity Board (CEB), clarified that the power outage was caused by an internal issue within the Supreme Court building and was unrelated to the CEB.