Despite many reports showing that the average life expectancy of children in most western countries is growing. In fact the prediction is that more than half of the children born in wealthy countries expected to live more than 100 years, the situation is sadly not the same in South Africa. The average life expectancy in South Africa is a lot less.
Life expectancy in South Africa versus the rest of the world
In South Africa, the average life expectancy is just 63.6 years and most South African babies born this year won’t have the opportunity to live to see the start of the next century. The World Health Organisation highlights the huge discrepancy between South Africa and the rest of the world with data that shows that children in more than 20 other countries will easily see in the 22nd century.
Children in Japan have an average life expectancy of 84 years, which means they will easily see in the year 2100 and other countries where children live longer than 81years include Singapore, France, Germany, Greece and Australia. Countries that are closer to South Africa in terms of life expectancy are India with a life expectancy of more than five years longer than South Africa and Brazil, which has an average lifespan of 75.1 years.
Life expectancy in South Africa versus Africa
South Africa’s life expectancy is also lower than most African countries with The Congo being placed at 64.3 years, Malawi at 64.2 years, Kenya at 66.7 years and Rwanda at 68 years. The only country that has a lower average life expectancy is Nigeria at 55.2 years.
TB and HIV are the biggest health risks in South Africa
The World Health Organisations World Health Statistics 2018 report shows that two of the biggest reasons for the decreased life expectancy in South Africa are TB and HIV. South Africa has the biggest HIV epidemic in the world with 7.1 million people living with HIV and the HIV prevalence in the general population being a high 18.9%. In terms of TB, South Africa is one of the countries with the highest incidences of TB in the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics give an estimated incidence of 322 000 cases of active TB in 2017.
Other causes of death in South Africa
Other causes of death in South Africa include cardiovascular disease, cancer or chronic respiratory disease with WHO statistics showing that 26.2% of the South African population between the ages of 30 and 70 die from these health issues. The chance of dying a violent death in South Africa is also extremely high with the mortality rate due to homicides being placed at 33.1 % per 100 000 people in South Africa. On a positive note, Deaths from suicide in South Africa are far lower than many wealthy countries.
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