Diseases that will kill more people in East Africa by 2040


Non-communicable diseases will be a major cause of death in East Africa by 2040, a new scientific study of forecasts shows.

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The study released by the international medical journal, The Lancet, says diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic kidney disease and lung cancer will be main killers.

While releasing the Study, Dr Kyle Foreman, Director of Data Science at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) said: “The future of the world’s health is not pre-ordained, and there is a wide range of plausible trajectories. But whether we see significant progress or stagnation depends on how well or poorly health systems address key health drivers.” The threats by these diseaseswill lower life expectancy for East Africa by 2040.

The rankings of nations’ life expectancies offer new insights into their health status. For example, Kenya, with an average life expectancy of 66.9 years in 2016, ranked 146th among 195 nations. However, if recent health trends continue it could rise to a rank of 134th in 2040 with an average life expectancy of 73.9 years, an increase of 7.0 years. Kenya’s life expectancy could increase by as much as 11.1 years in a better health scenario or decrease by 0.7 year in a worse health scenario.

Uganda, with an average life expectancy of 62.2 years in 2016, ranked 172nd among 195 nations. However, if recent health trends continue, it could rise to a rank of 168th in 2040 with an average life expectancy of 69.5 years, an increase of 7.3 years. Uganda’s life expectancy could increase by as much as 10.6 years in a better health scenario or decrease by as much as 0.1 years in a worse health scenario.

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Tanzania, with an average life expectancy of 64.3 years in 2016, ranked 163rd among 195 nations. However, if recent health trends continue, it could rise to a rank of 151st in 2040 with an average life expectancy of 72.3 years, an increase of 8.0 years. Tanzania’s life expectancy could increase by as much as 11.6 years in a better health scenario or as little as 2.5 years in a worse health scenario.

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Rwanda, with an average life expectancy of 67.8 years in 2016, ranked 139th among 195 nations. However, if recent health trends continue it could rise to a rank of 124th in 2040 with an average life expectancy of 74.8 years, an increase of 7.0. Rwanda’s life expectancy could rise by as much as 9.8 in a better health scenario.

The top five health drivers that explain the future trajectory for premature mortality are high blood pressure, high body mass index, high blood sugar, tobacco use, and alcohol use, Foreman said.

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