Key Facts

  • There are 6.1 million Salvadorans. 1 million of them, mostly adult men, live abroad. Most of them work for minimum wage, live frugally and send weekly remittances home. Even with these remittances, the average family of four lives on less than $50/week.
  • The majority of Salvadorans have no health care insurance or access to modern health care facilities. Most of the existing facilities are more than 100 years old.
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst women, with nearly 1.7 million new cases diagnosed per year.  With little or no early detection technology available in rural El Salvadorian, local  women are extremely susceptible.  It is followed closely by colon cancer which is the second leading cause of women’s death.
  • According to the World Health Organization, El Salvador is ranked #1 in the world for kidney disease.
  • A majority of children do not receive vaccinations or regular checkups. Their only exposure to the medical community is when there is an emergency or sudden illness.
  • Medication is both unavailable and unaffordable in most rural areas.
  • There are only 1.1 hospital beds for every 1,000 people in El Salvador.
  • In El Salvador, access to quality healthcare is directly tied to income levels. Adequate health care is available to those able to pay the high cost. Health care for urban and rural poor is very limited.