Thursday, February 29, 2024

Dangerous Botswana is still Africa’s safest

If you are still in your youth, aged between 15 and 29, you are more likely to die in peaceful Botswana than in war-torne Burma/Myanmar, World health Organization’s most recent data has revealed. Burmese youngsters who spend their lives dodging bullets in the Asian violence hotspot which has been engaged in an ethnic civil war since 1948 have a better chance of living longer than their Botswana counterparts ÔÇô the WTO report shows. The report further reveals that more Batswana youth died between 2000 and 2015(per capita) than in Libya at the time the country was going through a bloody civil war that deposed former dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Despite being more dangerous than one of the world ten most war torn countries, Botswana, is still one of four safest countries in Africa for youths. This is because of the widening gap in youth mortality between the developed and developing world. The WHO data shows that globally, the mortality rate for young people decreased 21% between 2000 and 2015, with HIV-related deaths in particular falling significantly. Yet the gap between developing and developed countries has widened in that period, from 2.2 up to 2.4 times higher. Violence, preventable diseases and traffic accidents are to blame for a widening of the youth mortality gap between the developed and developing world. The 25 most dangerous places in the world for youths aged between 15 and 29 are almost all African countries except Syria, despite that, considerably more young people died as a result of violence in Brazil in 2015 than in Syria. Cape Verde is the safest African country with a death rate of 76 in every 100 000 youths while Botswana, the fourth safest in Africa recorded 184 deaths for every 100 000 youths between 2000 and 2015, which is more than double the youth mortality rate of Cape Verde. Seychelles is Africa’s second safest country with a youth mortality rate of 84 in every 100 000 while Libya which was embroiled in a bloody civil war at the time the data was compiled came third with 124 death in every 100 000 youths. From 2000 to 2015, deaths in African countries related to pregnancy, tuberculosis, parasitical diseases ÔÇô including malaria ÔÇô and diarrhoea fell by around a third. These deaths are easily preventable with adequate healthcare and sanitation, and seldom occur in Western Europe. However, they are still some of the most common causes of young deaths in many African countries. In Sierra Leone, 74 out of 100,000 people died as a result of pregnancy. The global average is less than nine per 100,000. About 1,800 young people died in Somalia due to diarrhoea, a cause of death that’s been almost completely eradicated in more than 50 countries. The number of HIV-related deaths has halved in ten years, but still takes a heavy toll in countries such as Lesotho, where it kills 218 of every 100,000 young people. Road accidents are the most common cause of death of young people throughout the world. The WHO estimates that 350,000 young people died in 2015 as a result of traffic-related injuries. While the problem affects both developed and developing countries, the data reveals markedly different trends. While the number of deaths from self-harm decreased during the period, the WHO estimates that 220,000 people took their lives in 2015, making it the second most common cause of death among young people. Countries as diverse as Sri Lanka, Russia, New Zealand and Argentina have self-harm-related mortality rates over 20 per 100,000 for this age group, while nearly half of all young deaths in Iceland in 2015 were due to self-harm.


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