In 1956, when Morocco became independent, there were only about 300 public health physicians and 400 private practitioners in the country. Since then, the government has improved health care and made services more widely available. By 1992, health care was available to 70% of the population. There are programs to teach hygiene to children and parents. Health education courses at schools and colleges have also helped raise the quality of health. The current life expectancy is 66.5 years for men and 70.6 years for women.
Most health providers and health care centres are in urban areas. In rural areas, mobile medical teams and a group of pharmacies and clinics provide outpatient care. Efforts to improve health care in Morocco have been hampered by problems with waste disposal, the limited availability of safe drinking water and the rapid growth of the population. The government has been working to improve sanitation and the quality of drinking water. 

In 1982, the Ministry of Public Health was formed. Since then, smallpox has been eliminated, typhus outbreaks are less frequent, and malaria and tuberculosis have been brought under control. The World Health Organization and UNICEF also support the government’s campaigns to reduce eye disorders and sexually transmitted diseases. 

Infant and childhood diseases are among the most serious health problems. The most common causes of death in children are measles, neonatal tetanus and whooping cough. Children up to one year of age are vaccinated against tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio and measles.

 Employers in industry and business are required to register their workers for benefits, but many workers are still not covered. Programs to extend low-cost medical care to needy Moroccans are under way.

  Did you know?
Herbalists, known as El Achab, run apothecary shops stocked with traditional medicines and herbs. Zaatar is a herb used to treat gastrointestinal disorders. It tastes a little like mint. People add the dried leaves to milk or tea.