Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Botswana’s life expectancy rate drops-IHME study

A new study has found that on average, Batswana don’t get to live longer than they could have 14 years ago. A 2013 research by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) has found that Batswana are more likely to live 1.4 years less than they did in 1990. The study shows life expectancy in Botswana has declined for both men and women. It shows women in Botswana get to live longer than their male counterparts with an average life expectancy rate of 71.2 years as compared to men’s 61.7 years in 2013. “By contrast, women lived an average of 71.5 years and men had a life expectancy of 64.3 years in 1990,” the study says. Botswana was one of only 11 countries worldwide that saw a decline in average life expectancy.

Out of the 188 countries included in the study, Botswana ranked 125th for women and 151st for men for longest life expectancies. In 2013, Andorra had the longest life expectancy for women (86.7 years) and Qatar had the longest for men (81.2 years). Lesotho had the shortest life expectancy for both women (51.2 years) and men (45.6 years). According to the study HIV/AIDS remains the leading cause of death in Botswana followed by tuberculosis, and pneumonia. The three account for 51% of all deaths in 2013. Young people continue to be the most affected demographic when it comes to HIV/AIDS. “HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis were the top two causes of death for people between the ages of 15 and 49, resulting in 5,297 lives lost in 2013.”

Among individuals 70 and older, the study says, stroke claimed the most lives in the same year while the top cause of child mortality was neonatal disorders, killing 206 children under the age of five. Crimes of passion over the past few years have also contributed significantly to the causes of death as interpersonal violence and suicide took more lives in 2013 than in 1990. Deaths from violence increased more than 500% and 122%, respectively. Road accidents also claimed more life as mortality from road injuries also increased 120% between 1990 and 2013.

The study found that since 1990 Botswana saw marked declines in mortality from a number of diseases that used to take a large toll on the country. For instance, by 2013, mortality from malnutrition decreased 50%, and diarrheal diseases caused 44% fewer deaths. “In 1990, these diseases killed 964 people. Twenty-three years later, they claimed 429 fewer lives.”

The study also revealed how some diseases and injuries cause different mortality patterns for males and females. For example, in Botswana, tuberculosis took a greater toll on men, killing 636 males and 319 females in 2013. By contrast, adverse effects of medical treatment claimed 56 women’s lives and 85 men’s lives. On a more positive note the study found that today fewer people are dying from malnutrition and diarrheal diseases in Botswana. Mortality from malnutrition dropped 50% between 1990 and 2013. The study found that, globally, the average life expectancy rate has increased. “People live an average of 6.2 years longer than they did in 1990, with life expectancy rising to just under 72 years in 2013. Women showed a slightly larger average gain (an increase of 6.6 years) than men (a rise of 5.8 years). Improvements in health, reduced fertility, and shifts in the world’s age patterns have driven these global gains in life expectancy.”

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2013 is part of an ongoing effort to produce the timeliest and up-to-date understanding of what kills and ails people worldwide. Thousands of collaborators worldwide work together to generate annual estimates of deaths by cause, years of life lost to disability, and rates of premature mortality and illness. To make these data as useful and relevant to policymakers and country leaders as possible, findings from the GBD study can be used at the global, regional, national, and even subnational levels to track trends in health over time.

“Researchers found a widening gap between countries with the lowest and highest death rates from a given disease – a potential sign of increasing inequalities in health. They also emphasize the importance of measuring local disease burdens, as the health challenges found in one corner of a country can widely vary from those experienced a few hours away.”

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent global health research organisation at the University of Washington that provides rigorous and comparable measurement of the world’s most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them. IHME makes this information widely available so that policymakers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources to best improve population health.

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