Life expectancy in Africa increased from 54 to 63 years between 1990 and 2015 – ECA

The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on Friday revealed the African continent has made considerable progress in improving health outcomes over the past few decades.

Executive Secretary of the ECA Vera Songwe said while addressing a high-level health-themed meeting in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, which was organised by the UN World Health Organisation (WHO).

Songwe said that considerable health-sector achievements were registered in Africa over the past years.

According to him, from 1990 to 2015 life expectancy increased from 54 to 63 years.

The ECA chief also indicated that the number of women dying in childbirth and the number of children dying before the age of five almost halved during the same period.

Songwe, however, stressed that in spite of the progresses made in the healthcare sector, efforts should be strengthened so as to achieve global and continental targets.

“Although this progress is commendable, it is not rapid enough to achieve the health-related sustainable development goals by 2030.

“Ethiopia too has been a witness to progress on health outcomes.

“The maternal mortality ratio declined from 871 deaths to 412 maternal deaths per 100,000 in the period 2000 to 2016,’’ Songwe said.

According to him, the under-5 mortality rate had declined in Ethiopia from 166 deaths to 67 deaths per thousand live births from 2000 to 2016.

The high-level meeting was part of the “Africa Health Week” that has been underway in line with the AU heads of state and government summit that was held recently at the headquarters of the pan African bloc in Addis Ababa.

The African Health Week brought together Africa’s public health decision makers, health stakeholders, regional and global private sector, to harness the continent’s potential and opportunities to financing its health sector.

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