The World Health Organisation says people are now living longer globally but with more disability.
WHO made this known in its 2019 Global Health Estimates posted on its website.
This is even as a United Nations report ranked Nigeria as a country with the world’s third lowest life expectancy rate of 55 years.
WHO Global Health Estimate covers the years 2000 to 2019, prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The findings also pointed to global decline in deaths from communicable diseases, though they remain major challenge in low- and middle-income countries as deaths from tuberculosis, for instance, reduced by about 30 per cent.
It also found that life-spans increased over the years, with a global average of more than 73 years in 2019.
Part of the report read, “The estimates further confirm the growing trend for longevity: in 2019, people were living more than six years longer than in 2000, with a global average of more than 73 years in 2019 compared to nearly 67 in 2000. But on average, only five of those additional years were lived in good health.
“Indeed, disability is on the rise. To a large extent, the diseases and health conditions that are causing the most deaths are those that are responsible for the greatest number of healthy life-years lost. Heart disease, diabetes, stroke, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were collectively responsible for nearly 100 million additional healthy life-years lost in 2019 compared to 2000.
“Injuries are another major cause of disability and death: there has been a significant rise in road traffic injuries in the African region since 2000, with an almost 50 per cent increase in both death and healthy life-years lost. Similar but slightly smaller increases (at around 40 per cent) were also observed for the Eastern Mediterranean region. Globally, deaths from road traffic injuries are 75 per cent male.
“In the Americas, drug use has emerged as a significant contributor to both disability and death. There was a nearly threefold increase in deaths from drug use disorders in the Americas between 2000 and 2019. This region is also the only one for which drug use disorder is a top 10 contributor to healthy life-years lost due to premature deaths and disability, while in all other regions, drug use does not make the top 25.”
A 2019 report by the United Nations Population Fund said the life expectancy of an average Nigerian in 2019 was only better than those of people in Sierra Leone, Chad and the Central African Republic.
The three countries had 53, 54, 54 years respectively as their life expectancy rates.
In the report, the war-torn Afghanistan had 65 years; Somalia 58; and Syria 73.
The report put Nigeria’s population at 201 million and stated that the total fertility rate among Nigerian women had dropped from 6.4 in 1969 to 5.3 in 2019, adding that an average Nigerian woman could give birth to at least five children.
Again, the Misery Index 2018, Nigeria ranked sixth worst out of 95 countries with a score of 43.0. The index, compiled by the Johns Hopkins University in the United States, bases its computation mainly on the unemployment rate, inflation and lending rates, minus the percentage in real Gross Domestic Product per capita.
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