Life expectancy in Africa has hopped from 46 years to 56 years according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Although the value is still below the global average of 64, the United Nations says it is good news.
The WHO reported this in its 2022 “Tracking Universal Health Coverage in the WHO African Region” report which examined life expectancy data among 47 countries that make up the WHO African region.
The health agency cited Africa’s improvements in the provision of essential health services; gains in reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health; as well as progress in the fight against infectious diseases like HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria control measures from 2005 for the gains.
“On average, essential health service coverage improved to 46% in 2019, compared with 24% in 2000. The most significant achievements were in preventing and treating infectious diseases, but this was offset by the dramatic rise in hypertension, diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases and the lack of health services targeting these diseases”, WHO noted
According to Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, unless countries enhance measures against the threat of cancer and other non-communicable diseases, the health gains could be jeopardised.”
The report, therefore, recommends accelerated efforts to improve financial risk protection, rethink and repivot health service delivery with a focus on incorporating noncommunicable health services as part of essential health services, involving communities and engaging the private sector.
It also recommends putting in place sub-national system monitoring systems so that countries are better able to capture early warning signs for health threats and system failures.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini