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Czech News in English » News » National » MfD: Deprived Czechs' life expectancy comparable to poor states

MfD: Deprived Czechs’ life expectancy comparable to poor states

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Prague, Dec 22 (CTK) – The life expectancy of Czech children born in excluded or socially deprived localities threatens to be as low as that of their peers in the poorest developing countries in Africa, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes yesterday, citing demographic surveys.
Czech economy has been growing and the population’s living standard has been rising recently. In spite of this, there is a number of poor, neglected localities in the country where people’s living standard remains extremely low and where the newborn babies have the same life expectancy as babies in countries such as Burundi or Guinea-Bissau, the daily writes.
Even the prospects of children in India or Kenya are better, it writes.
According to the data released by the Czech Agency for Social Inclusion, more than 100,000 people live in the Czech excluded localities, often dubbed ghettos and with prevailing Romany population, and their number continues to rise. It has risen by a half in the past ten years, MfD writes.
The life expectancy of the ghetto inhabitants is up to 18 years lower than the Czech average, the daily writes.
Moreover, infant mortality is twice as high in these localities, and local infants suffer from health problems twice more often than children elsewhere in the Czech Republic, the daily writes.
Experts blame the unfortunate situation on both the ghetto inhabitants and the health care system that fails to secure appropriate care for them, the paper writes.
A crucial problem is that 75 percent of such people in their productive age have only elementary education. As a result, they care worse for themselves and consequently also for their offspring, MfD writes.
Furthermore, the housing conditions in such localities are far worse than elsewhere, it writes.
“Sometimes, these people start tackling their health troubles only after they grow serious,” the paper quotes Dagmar Penickova, from the Agency for Social Inclusion, as saying.
People in ghettos suffer from unhealthy diet, the lack of movement and mainly various types of addiction. Above all, the biggest problem is smoking, the paper writes, adding that 65 percent of men and 57 percent of women in the surveyed localities are smokers.
Zuzana Marhoulova, from the Drom NGO helping people in socially deprived localities, said doctors are unwilling to provide care for such people due to their negligence of preventive care.
The people, for their part, are convinced that doctors reject them due to their Romany origin, MfD writes.
The government has been seeking ways to solve the unfavourable situation and remove its causes. It plans to introduce Romany mediators to smooth out discords between doctors and socially deprived families.
On the one hand, the mediators are to assist the families in searching for the necessary health information and services. On the other hand, they are to highlight aspects of the different Romany culture for doctors, explaining, for example, why Romanies tend to shun doctors’ surgeries or why they do not take a consistent approach to the child vaccination programmes, MfD writes.

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