Life expectancy in Kenya to hit 73.9 years by 2040, Lancet report says

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Life expectancy
PHOTO/COURTESY: DW

The life expectancy of Kenyans is expected to hit 73.9 years by the year 2040, a report published in the international medical journal Lancet last week has revealed.

According to the report, Kenya attained an aggregate score of 66.9, as of 2016, among the 195 nations under survey and this was credited to the country having a better health scenario and health drivers.

“Whether we see significant progress or stagnation depends on how well or poorly health systems address key health drivers,” Kyle Foreman the lead author of the report says.

The report correspondingly discloses that most Kenyans; and East Africans in general, will lose their lives to non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure, high body mass index, high tobacco and alcohol use which are the five biggest drivers of health in the region.

Subsequently, the report reveals that the Life expectancy in Kenya and the region can rise even higher if health drivers are taken into account and health services improved.

“Understanding potential health trajectories and drivers of health is crucial to guiding long-term investments and policy implementation.”

“Kenya could rise to a rank of 134 in 2040 with an average life expectancy of 73.9 years, an increase of seven years. Kenya’s life expectancy could increase by as much as 11.1 years in a better health scenario or decrease by 0.7 years in a worst health scenario,” the report says.

In the East African region, only Rwanda ranked higher than Kenya with a 67.8 years average. Tanzania came in third in the region with an average score of 64.3 years as of 2016.

The new study provides a novel approach to modelling life expectancy, all-cause mortality and cause of death forecasts —and alternative future scenarios—for 250 causes of death from 2016 to 2040 in 195 countries and territories.

The researchers modelled 250 causes and cause groups organised by the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) hierarchical cause structure, using GBD 2016 estimates from 1990–2016, to generate predictions for 2017–40.

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