The World Health Organization has announced the good news after examining the life expectancy data of the 47 countries that make up WHO Africa Region from 2000 to 2019, as part of a continent-wide report on progress on access to health care for all – a key SDG Target.
“This increase is greater than any other region in the world during the same periodThe WHO said, before warning that the negative impact of COVID-19 The pandemic could threaten these “huge profits”.
Healthier in the long run
According to a UN agency report, Monitoring universal health coverage in the WHO Africa Region 2022Life expectancy on the continent has increased to 56 years, from 46 at the turn of the century.
“While still well below the global average of 64, over the same period, global healthy life expectancy increased by only five years,” it explains.
Of the continent The Ministry of Health should be credited for their “motivation” to improve their health Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said people’s happiness.
In particular, the continent has benefited from better access to essential health services – increasing from 24% in 2000 to 46% in 2019 – along with reproductive health benefits, Ms. mothers, infants and children.
Benefits of dealing with disease
Significant progress in combating infectious diseases has also contributed to increased life expectancy, the WHO said, noting that measures to control HIV, tuberculosis and malaria have increased rapidly since 2005.
Despite these welcome initiatives in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, The United Nations agency warned that these benefits were offset by “significant” increases in hypertension, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.apart from the lack of health services targeting these diseases.
“People are living healthier, longer lives, are less threatened by infectious diseases and have better access to disease prevention and care services,” said Dr Moeti.
“But progress must not stand still. Unless countries step up measures to combat the threat of cancer and other non-communicable diseases, health benefits could be at stake.. “
© UNICEF / Karin Schermbrucker
Fight the next global threat
The WHO official emphasized that these valuable health benefits against the negative impact of COVID-19 – “and the subsequent pathogen” – will be important factors, the WHO official stressed, because the body The UN agency noted that on average, African countries experience greater disruption to essential services, compared to other regions.
In total, more than 90% of the 36 countries that responded to the 2021 WHO survey reported one or more disruptions to essential health services, with vaccinations, tropical diseases being abandoned. forgetfulness and nutrition services are hardest hit.
“It is important for governments to increase financing for public health,” the WHO stressed, adding that most governments in Africa fund less than 50% of the international health budget. their families, leading to a large funding gap. The report notes: “Only Algeria, Botswana, Cape Verde, Eswatini, Gabon, Seychelles and South Africa” finance more than half of their medical expenses.
One of WHO’s top recommendations to all governments seeking to increase access to health care is for them to “catastrophic” reductions in household spending on medicines and counseling.
Households that spend more than 10% of their income on health are classified as “catastrophic”. Over the past 20 years, out-of-pocket spending has stagnated or increased in 15 African countries.