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Mauritius flag Country profile: Mauritius

Map of Mauritius

The SADC Pharmaceutical Business Plan 2007-2013 aims at ensuring availability of essential medicines, including African traditional medicines, in order to reduce disease burden in countries. Within this context, Mauritius has collaborated with WHO in the collection and analysis of data on it's pharmaceutical situation. This information will be used as a baseline before embarking on the implementation of the Pharmaceutical Business Plan, and will be used: to take stock of the pharmaceutical situation and identify areas in need of strengthening and support; to compare results with those of other countries fostering a sharing of experiences and enabling identification of strengths and opportunities for cooperation; and to measure over time the impact of the support provided by the SADC Secretariat, WHO and other partners. A questionnaire on pharmaceutical policies and structures was developed by WHO based on previous tools elaborated by the organization and other leading partners such as the Medicines Transparency Alliance. To facilitate the work at country level, the questionnaire was filled in at central level by WHO with data available from global sources (e.g. WHO Statistical System) as well as with specific information available within the Essential Medicines Department of WHO. This included not only the WHO 2007 Level I Survey, but also country-specific assessments such as the level II facility survey1, the WHO/HAI pricing surveys2 etc. After being populated, the questionnaire was sent to Mauritius so that public officials could review and correct the filled data and, where possible, complete the missing data fields. A local consultant was recruited to facilitate the process and collect information from key agencies (Department of Pharmaceuticals, Central Medical Store, etc.). The names of respondents to each section were registered, in case follow-up was needed; the source of each data was also included in the questionnaire as a guarantee of the quality of the information and can be seen in the last column on each table. A senior official in the Ministry of Health has confirmed the accuracy of the information and provided permission for its publication on SADC and WHO web sites.

Mauritius, a volcanic island of lagoons and palm-fringed beaches in the Indian Ocean, has a reputation
for stability and racial harmony among its mixed population of Asians, Europeans and Africans.

The island has maintained one of the developing world's most successful democracies and has enjoyed years of constitutional order.


It has preserved its image as one of Africa's few social and economic success stories.


Politics: Navin Ramgoolam became premier in July 2005, having already held the post from 1995 to 2000. Changing coalitions are a feature of politics
Economy: Political stability and efforts to diversify have helped Mauritius become one of Africa's most prosperous economies.
International: Mauritius claims the Chagos Islands, administered by Britain and home to a US military base on Diego Garcia.

Once reliant on sugar as its main crop export, Mauritius was hit by the removal of European trade preferences but has successfully diversified into textiles, upmarket tourism, banking and business outsourcing.

Various cultures and traditions flourish in peace, though Mauritian

Creoles, descendants of African slaves who make up a third of the population, live in poverty and complain of discrimination.

Mauritius was uninhabited when the Dutch took possession in 1598. Abandoned in 1710, it was taken over by the French in 1715 and seized by the British in 1810.

It gained independence in 1968 as a constitutional monarchy, with executive power nominally vested in the British monarch. It became a republic in 1992. The island of Rodrigues and other smaller islets also form part of the country.

Mauritius claims sovereignty over the Chagos islands, which lie around 1,000 km to the north-east. The British territory, which was separated from Mauritius in 1965, is home to the US military base on Diego Garcia. The British government oversaw the forced removal of the Chagos islanders to Mauritius to make way for the base.

The country is home to some of the world's rarest plants and animals. But human habitation and the introduction of non-native species have threatened its indigenous flora and fauna.

The dodo - a flightless bird and a national symbol - was hunted into extinction in the 17th century.


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