The traditional communicable diseases of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis remain the main drivers of mortality. Projections indicate that the number of people living with HIV/AIDS will be around 70 million by 2050; therefore combating HIV/AIDS will present an extraordinary challenge.
Treatments for the major communicable diseases will continue to occupy a significant portion of national health budgets for the foreseeable future.
The likelihood of an HIV vaccine coming onto the market in the coming decade is slim, but perhaps one will emerge over the next 50 years. HIV will continue to cause premature deaths in the working-age population,and will erode the social fabric of countries and the integrity of communities.
- The endowment of Africa abundant natural wealth towards green growth
- A little break on Cultural Pan-Africanism and promote Technological Pan-Africanism instead
A promising malaria vaccine is more likely to emerge, although ensuring the vaccine’s affordability will need to be addressed. Outbreaks of polio and measles should cease to exist. Concomitantly, chronic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer—associated with a growing middle-class lifestyle—are also emerging as major killers on the continent.
This is creating a double disease burden which African health systems are ill equipped to handle. In fact, it is the chronic, non-communicable conditions that will emerge as Africa’s biggest health challenge over the next half century; these are expected to overtake communicable diseases as the most common cause of death. Scaling up interventions for the prevention and control of chronic diseases will be critical
Life expectancy at birth reflects the overall mortality prevailing across all age groups of a population. Over the last 60 years, life expectancy in the continent has risen from 37 in 1950 to 58 in 2011. The increasing life expectancy in Africa is being partly driven by improved economic opportunities, with significant sub-regional variations: sub- regions and countries with higher GDP per capita tend to report higher life expectancy; the reverse is also true, with poverty associated with lower life expectancy.
Though such sub-regional variations are likely to persist—with North and East Africa experiencing the highest expectancy and Central Africa most likely to be making the slowest progress—it is anticipated that life expectancy will steadily improve by 2060, with the continental average reaching 71 years