Quick Facts

  • An Islamic Republic
  • Independence: 1960 (from France)
  • Official language: Arabic
  • Divided into twelve regions and one capital district
  • Capital city: Nouakchott (pop. 968,000)
  • Economy: based on agriculture and livestock
  • Major religion: Islam
  • Climate/terrain: desert type; 3/4 of the country is desert
  • Population: 3,596,702
  • Literacy rate: 52.1%
  • Current weather conditions: www.weather.com
  • Tips for travel in country: www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates: www.xe.com

Government in Power

  • Military junta
  • Chief of state: President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (since 5 August 2009); note – Aziz, who deposed democratically elected President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdellahi in a coup and installed himself as President of the High State Council on 6 August 2008, retired from the military and stepped down from the Presidency in April 2009 to run for president; he was elected president in an election held on 18 July 2009
    Head of government: Prime Minister Yahya Ould Hademine (since 2014)

Healthcare Statistics

  • Maternal mortality rate: 602/100,000
  • Infant mortality rate: 54.68/1,000
  • Life expectancy: 62.65 years
  • Health expenditures: 3.8% GDP
  • Physician density: 0.13/1,000
  • Hospital bed density: 0.4/1,000
  • HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate:  0.66%
  • Infectious disease risk: very high
  • Infectious diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, malaria, dengue fever, meningococcal meningitis, rabies
  • Infectious disease updates: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

Images From the Field


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Area Agencies

Field Stories

Mission trips as a non-medical volunteer …. Think you don’t have a skill set that can help on a mission trip? You are wrong! Just because you are not a health provider does not mean you have nothing to offer on mission trips! There is much more than just seeing and treating patients on these […]

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