Healthcare and Social Programs: How do Santomeans Get Sick, and Well?

Free condoms

Free condoms. Photo by Robert Grant.

Better healthcare than in many African countries, however lacks of statistics in many areas.

Life expectancy is 62 for males and 66 for women. Medical problems include an often fatal cerebral malaria and respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia, and tuberculosis. Just over eight children per hundred die before they are five. The WACT association has been working in this area. Posto de medico Guadalupe on Youtube (in Portuguese).


There are not many films about São Tomé and Príncipe. I’ve found two documentaries that are both tailored towards promoting / documenting international aid programmes on the islands.

European Comission Films

Two French filmmakers Léa Rinaldi and Thomas Gayrard document the effects of European Comission aid programmes on the islands in their documentary Sur Les Routes De Sao Tomé (2008). One of their supported organizations is GIME (Road Maintanance Interest Group) that teaches local communities to service their roads by building simple roadside blocks that prevent soil erosion. They provide jobs to over 1400 people on the islands. The IMF has released a report which has a pretty good overview of this project as well information on other poverty reduction projects.

The film is available on Vimeo in Portuguese with French subtitles.

International Alert

The second film is from 2007 titled Vulnerable Voices: Strengthening Democratic Participation in Sao Tome and Principe. The theme is the creation of local communal radio stations by International Alert and associated agencies including UNICEF. Some of the interviews and scenes are sure to bring a smile to your face.

Available on Vimeo in Portuguese with English subtitles.