WHO: Sharp Rise in Kenyan Life Expectancy


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported a drastic rise in the average life expectancy for citizens in Kenya.

The announcement follows a common trend in East African nations, where development accompanies increased life expectancies. WHO estimates Kenyans can now expect to live an average of 63.4 years, compared to 51 years in 2000.


Kenya follows life expectancy trend

The report from WHO puts Kenya in the same bracket as much of the East African Community, where life expectancy increases are above average for the continent as a whole. African nations have seen an average lifespan increase of 9.4 years since 2000 while this latest report puts Kenya at 12.4 years.

Such is the trend in East African countries with Rwanda seeing the sharpest rise in average life expectancy over the same period. Rwanda had an even lower life expectancy than Kenya in 2000 at just 48 years. However, Rwanda has since overtaken its neighbour with an average lifespan of 66.1 years in 2015.

Similar rates of growth have been recorded in Uganda and Burundi as well, although the latest calculations won’t have factored for the recent security crisis in Burundi.


Fight against AIDS crucial

High on the list of contributing factors to increasing lifespans in East Africa is the progress made in the fight against AIDS. The entire region has made huge progress over the last 20 years to curb the virus and educate its people. The fight isn’t over yet but the likes of Rwanda and Uganda have been an example for other African nations to follow.

The other major contributing factor is the speed of economic development seen across East African nations. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was quickly hailed for steering the country to economic stability through relations with Western powers and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame followed suit.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia has risen as the world’s fastest growing economy and foreign investment from China, the US and other leading nations has only boosted growth further across the region.


Featured image:

By CIAT2DU Kenya 86, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30331271