The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa revealed that life expectancy across the continent had improved significantly.
The new report launched during the 68th session of the WHO Regional Committee in Dakar, saying that the life expectancy across Africa had improved significantly, but national health systems must be improved to ensure that services get to the people who need them most.
The life expectancy jumped from 50.9 years in 2012, to 53.8 years in 2015, according to the report.
Deaths resulting from the 10 biggest health risks in Africa – such as lower respiratory infections, HIV and diarrhoeal diseases – dropped by half between 2000 and 2015, partly as a result of specialised health programmes.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, said during the launching of the report, “I’m proud that Africans are now living longer and healthier lives.
“Nearly three years of extra health is a gift that makes us all proud. Of course we hope that these gains will continue and the region will reach global standards.
“Health services must keep up with the evolving health trends in the region. In the past we focused on specific diseases as these were causing a disproportionately high number of deaths.
“We have been highly successful at stopping these threats, and people’s health is now being challenged by a broad range of conditions. We need to develop a new and more holistic approach to health.”