What exactly is killing Africans

2017-08-27 05:58

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HIV/Aids is no longer the leading cause of death for people in Africa, new statistics reveal.

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) most recent data show that the crippling illness is now the second killer in Africans, after years spent campaigning for better contraception and education about the disease, which is contracted mainly via sexual transmission or shared needles.

Lower respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis, are now the most deadly disease on the continent.

There were an estimated 760 000 deaths from HIV/Aids in 2015, showing a marked drop from the 1 million deaths in 2010.

Although fewer people are dying from the disease, experts say the number is still too high considering preventive methods and education efforts have improved.

Third on the list are diarrhoeal diseases, which are caused by viral, bacterial or parasitic infections in the bowels.

This is also the second leading cause of death in children under the age of five worldwide as well as in Africa, according to the WHO.

These infections are caused by dirty and unsafe water, poor hygiene and bad sanitation in areas where people live and eat.

Fourth on the list are strokes.

The number of people dying from a stroke has increased since 2010.

A stroke is caused when the blood flow to the brain is stopped or reduced. Brain cells are unable to get enough oxygen and nutrients, so they begin to die.

Heart attacks are fifth on the list and have pushed malaria out of the top five for the first time in years.

Most of the above-mentioned diseases are preventable with sufficient funding and access to better care.

Countries in Africa, though, continue to be plagued by poverty, which has affected people’s ability to get the care needed to treat these diseases.

But poverty levels have been improving in Africa since 1990. In 2012, only 43% of the population lived in poverty compared with 56% in 1990, according to the World Bank. – WHO

Read more on:    who  |  health

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