Africa's World-Beating Progress on Healthy Life Expectancy is Under Threat

  • In Health
  • 2022-08-05 12:53:50Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Gains in the number of years Africans are in good health may be jeopardized by the resurgence of infectious diseases and as the Covid-19 pandemic has limited access to care, according to the World Health Organization.

Most Read from Bloomberg

  • China Announces Sanctions on Nancy Pelosi Over Taiwan Trip

  • R Kelly Has $28,000 in His Prison-Inmate Account. Prosecutors Want to Seize It

  • YOLO Stock Bulls Say Wake Me When Fed Tightening Starts to Bite

  • Democrats Drop Carried Interest as Sinema Paves Way for Tax Vote

Healthy life expectancy on the continent grew by an average of 10 years per person between 2000 and 2019 to 56 years-old, a WHO report showed. This increase was the biggest of any region globally in the period. While the world average is 64 years-old, the gains made in Africa were double that of the global average.

While preventing and treating infectious diseases were the biggest drivers in the almost 20 years of improvements, Covid-19 disruptions and a lack of health services targeting increasing cases of hypertension, diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases is a risk, the WHO said in the report.

"The sharp rise in healthy life expectancy during the past two decades is a testament to the region's drive for improved health," said Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa. "But the progress must not stall. Unless countries enhance measures against the threat of cancer and other noncommunicable diseases, the health gains could be jeopardized."

Africa is dealing with several significant disease outbreaks in addition to Covid-19, including monkeypox, the Marburg virus, Lassa fever, cholera, measles and wild polio, putting additional strain on often limited resources.

Sub-Saharan Africa is also home to about 70% of the total number of people globally infected with HIV, which causes the immune disease AIDS. Deaths from malaria, the mosquito-borne disease that killed almost half a million African children in 2020, is rising for the first time in three years. Total annual cancer deaths in sub-Saharan Africa may reach 1 million, nearly double their 2020 levels, in the next eight years, according to a report from the Lancet Oncology Commission.

African countries, on average, reported more pandemic-related essential service disruptions than other part of the world, with routine immunizations, treatment of tropical diseases and nutrition services facing the biggest interference, WHO said.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

  • A Very Dangerous Place to Be Pregnant Is Getting Even Scarier

  • Podcast Guests Are Paying Up to $50,000 to Appear on Popular Shows

  • Amazon's Roomba Deal Is Really About Mapping Your Home

  • It's Getting Harder to Be a Woman in America

  • AI Art Software Dall-E Moves Past Novelty Stage and Turns Pro

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.


More Related News

Ian Latest: More Than 1 Million Without Power In Storm
Ian Latest: More Than 1 Million Without Power In Storm's Wake

(Bloomberg) -- Hurricane Ian barreled ashore in southwest Florida with a massive and deadly surge of water and catastrophic winds that are poised to make it ...

Biogen Rally Adds $11 Billion in Value on Alzheimer
Biogen Rally Adds $11 Billion in Value on Alzheimer's Win

(Bloomberg) -- Biogen Inc. rose the most since November 2020 after a key clinical trial with its partner Eisai Co. showed the therapy lecanemab slowed the...

Democrats Unveil Bill to Restrict Trading by Lawmakers, Presidents
Democrats Unveil Bill to Restrict Trading by Lawmakers, Presidents

(Bloomberg) -- A House proposal to restrict stock ownership and trading by members of Congress, the president and vice president, Supreme Court justices and ...

France's Top Oil Refinery Halting as Strike Impact Deepens

(Bloomberg) -- France's top oil refinery is set to halt because of a workers' strike over pay, the latest hit to the nation's fuelmaking capacity from the...

BOE Response Highlights
BOE Response Highlights 'Impossible Trinity' of Liquidity Issues

(Bloomberg) -- The Bank of England's pledge of unlimited long-dated bond purchases is a signal UK policy makers are attuned to what Bank of America has...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Health