Life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa has decreased partly due to HIV/AIDS
Life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa has decreased by an average of five years since the early 1990s, largely because countries are fighting the double burden of HIV/AIDS and other diseases, according to a report released by the World Bank in Cape Town, South Africa.
The report – which is titled "Disease and Mortality in sub-Saharan Africa" – finds that HIV/AIDS accounts for 20.4% of all deaths on the subcontinent. The report also finds that one in six African children dies before age five from diseases that can be treated and prevented.
According to the report, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has stalled or reversed successes in reducing the prevalence of communicable disease and has affected the prevention and treatment of cancer and mental and neurological disorders.
World Bank representative Eduard Bos at the launch of the report at the Cape Town Book Fair said it reflects significant advancements in knowledge since the 1991 edition was published.
"The potential impact of HIV/AIDS was anticipated in , but the current volume documents the depth and breadth of the burden that the epidemic is inflicting on Africa," Bos said.
He added, "New sources of health and demographic information have become available as a result of unprecedented international interest in health conditions in sub-Saharan Africa."
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