Africa sees 10-year gain in healthy life expectancy

August 5, 2022 – Between 2000 and 2019, healthy life expectancy—the number of years a person is in a good state of health—jumped from 46 to 56 years in Africa, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The rise was greater than in any other region of the world, the report found.

Several experts—including Muhammad Pate, Julio Frenk Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health—discussed the report at an August 4, 2022, press briefing. The experts noted that the lack of sustainable finance for health systems threatens the gains made in Africa.

Pate noted that both public and private investments in health in Africa are essential. “There is scope to harness private capital to invest in laboratories in hospitals,” he said in an August 4 article in Health Policy Watch. “But with a public mission protected, every citizen should be guaranteed basic access to quality health care. The public health function should be publicly financed, and tax financing is a key part of that.”

Read the Health Policy Watch article: Africa Records World’s Highest Gain in Healthy Life Expectancy Over Past Decade