News / Health

Study Quantifies That People Are Living Longer

FILE - Elderly people dance on a street during the International Day of Older Persons in Sao Paulo's Avenida Paulista, Brazil, October 2013.
FILE - Elderly people dance on a street during the International Day of Older Persons in Sao Paulo's Avenida Paulista, Brazil, October 2013.
Lisa Schlein
A new report by the World Health Organization finds people are living longer. The organization’s annual statistics report shows people are living an average six years longer than they did in 1990.

The World Health Organization report finds low-income countries have made the greatest progress, with  average life expectancies rising by nine years between 1990 and 2012.  

WHO Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems Director Ties Boerma attributes the improvements to major successes in the health-related Millennium Development Goals.   

“Child mortality is down 47 percent since 1990. Maternal mortality is 45 percent down since 1990. HIV, TB, malaria all have seen major reductions in new infections and in deaths," said Dr. Boerma. "But we also have to acknowledge that many countries will not achieve the Millennium Development Goals ... so much more action is needed.”  

The World Health Statistics 2014 surveys 194 countries. The data show women all over the world live longer than men and the gaps in life expectancy between rich and poor countries persist.  It says declining tobacco use is a key factor in helping people live longer in several countries.

The top six countries where life expectancy from birth has increased the most are Liberia, Ethiopia, Maldives, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, and Rwanda.   

The report cites Iceland as the top-ranked country for life expectancy among men, which is just over 81 years.  Japan comes out on top for women, who live until age 87.  On the bottom of the scale, the report finds life expectancy for both men and women is still less than 55 years in nine sub-Saharan countries.

The leading causes for years of life lost are ischaemic heart disease, pneumonia, and stroke, followed by preterm birth complications, diarrheal diseases and HIV/AIDS. The report says infectious diseases and related conditions are the major causes of more than 70 percent of premature deaths in 22 African countries.  

Meanwhile, it finds non-communicable diseases and injuries account for more than 90 percent of years of life lost in 47 high-income countries.

Boerma told VOA that spectacular progress has been made in countries where strong government leadership promotes health services.

“One lesson though is that if the political unstable situation resolves, we have seen in many countries a catch-up, really fast progress. Examples: Liberia, which is now our fastest progressing country, Rwanda, but also Cambodia.”

Boerma noted that such practices as good delivery care for women, family planning and immunizations are aiding the progress.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Luke Thomas
May 15, 2014 9:42 PM
Living longer and the nursing homes are filling up to top capacity. Sweet.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid