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20.06.2019 Article

Lower Life Expectancy In Africa: Technology Can Improve The Situation

By Alex Ababio

According to ourworldindata.org, the term "life expectancy" refers to the number of years a person can expect to live. By definition, life expectancy is based on an estimate of the average age that members of a particular population group will be when they die.

Most countries in sub-Saharan Africa are very unfortunate as their life expectancy is as low as 45 to 50 years on the average.

According to the CIA’s World Factbook , the top 20 lowest life expectancy countries are all countries in Sub- Saharan Africa as of 2017. The list of those countries are as follows according to how they are arranged here from 1 to 20 :

Chad – 50.6, Guinea-Bissau – 51.6,Afghanistan – 51.7,Gabon – 52.1,Swaziland – 52.1,Zambia – 52.7,Central African Republic – 52.8,Somalia – 52.8,Lesotho – 53,Mozambique – 53.7,Nigeria – 53.8,Burkina Faso – 55.9,Niger – 55.9.The rest on the list are Uganda – 55.9, Sierra Leone – 58.6, Cameroon – 59, Cote d’Ivoire – 59, Republic of the Congo – 59.8, Zimbabwe – 59.8 and Angola – 60.2

There are a lot of factors that contribute to a country’s life expectancy. Some of these contributing factors are economic conditions, diet, public health, access to medical care, wars, crime rate etc. Because of this, a lot of the countries on this list are African countries plagued by poverty.

The good news is that some developed countries especially Japan over the years have worked assiduously to improve their life expectancy to 84 years averagely with deliberate use of technology.

Africa countries that are faced with this grim reality can turn the situation around by following the footsteps of countries like Japan.

Health Insurance Policy:
There should be conscious effort by governments in these countries to come out with health insurance policy backed by programmes which can fast be spread by the use of technology for wider coverage.

The rapid spread and availability of information has been pivotal in Ghana’s National Health Insurance Policy and this in part has been political expediency as there has always been political debate as to how to make the policy vibrant to achieve universal health care delivery for the population.

Ghana has been using internet which of course is one of the largest communication tools to champion informational availability and accessibility which is effectively supported by smartphones. Now due to this technological advancement, Ghana’s Health Insurance Programme is heavily subscribed.

With the use of technology people in even remotest part of any country can perform a basic online search and get instant information on almost every disease and how effectively to deal with these ailments. Through the use of internet the citizenry can also read information on health and find tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle. So instead of the governments in these countries spending huge money on the purchase of ammunition and weapons to kill themselves, they should do well to invest in health of the people and this will definitely have positive impact on their life expectancy.

Technology and Public health improvement.
Due to Poor sanitation systems in most of this sub- Saharan Africa countries the populations is plaqued with a host of different kinds of diseases cutting their life span short .

However, there is hope that the situation can change for better with the right knowledge of technology. Government in these countries should invest in technologies that have potency to provide safe water to the masses and dispose of waste properly.

(Alex Ababio is the Executive Director of African Liberators Economic Institute)

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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