The World Bank released a global health report on Wednesday.
Nigeria has been rated among countries with poor premature death indexes by a latest global health report with more people dying from preventable diseases like malaria than it was 20 years ago.
Statistics from the World Bank in her latest report released on Wednesday revealed that Malaria, HIV/AIDS and Lower Respiratory Infections (LRIs) are now the strongest contributors to the cause of Years of Life Lost (YLLs) due to premature deaths in the country.
The research and scorecard titled The Global Burden of Disease: Generating Evidence, Guiding Policy – Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Edition, published by the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) indicated that although diarrheal diseases witnessed the largest decrease, falling by 52 per cent from 1990 to 2010, Nigeria must yet watch out for childhood underweight, household air pollution from solid fuels and alcohol use as they are now the leading risk factor in the country. Nigeria must also particularly watch out for childhood underweight in children under 5 and alcohol use in adults aged 15-49 years, the report further disclosed.
Data availed PREMIUM TIMES by the World Bank reveal there have been no considerable improvement in years of life lost due to malaria. The preventable but deadly disease had a 70 per cent increase change in 2010 when compared with 1990. Tabular representations indicated that no fewer than 14,276 (15.7%) premature mortality- younger deaths, were recorded in 1990. This increased by 70 per cent to 24, 149 (23.2%) in 2010. The scorecard reflected malaria as being responsible for most years of life lost (premature/younger death) in 1990 and remained same 20years down the line.
Unlike malaria, there has been an unprecedented increase in premature deaths as a result of HIV/AIDS in the country. While it was the 27th cause of younger deaths, it took the 2nd negative lead three years ago in Nigeria with a 2,807 percent change when compared with its prevalence 20years ago.
Like malaria, lower respiratory infections maintained 3rd position the way it did in 1990 even with a -19per cent change.
However, unlike Nigeria, several countries have recorded striking progress. For instance, Burundi has decreased LRIs by 44 per cent, and Benin reducing measles by 84%.
Although malaria and HIV/AIDS were the leading causes of premature death and disability in Nigeria and other African region in 2010, some countries have yet made significant progress in these two health conditions. In the last 10 years, Rwanda has recorded a 56 per cent decrease in the rate of healthy years of life lost from malaria, while Botswana cut the rate of premature death and disability from HIV/AIDS by 66 per cent.
Over the years, disabilities in Nigeria have received little attention notwithstanding the fact that many Nigerians now live with various forms of disabilities with some being very severe. The world bank scorecard revealed that more attention be given it as low back pain, iron-deficiency anemia, major depressive disorder, malaria and schistosomiasis are now the top five leading causes of years lived with disability (YLDs) in the country.
Again, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and lower respiratory infections were the top three causes of disability-adjusted life years (DALYS) three years ago with road injuries taking the 6th negative lead.
Though Nigeria took the negative lead in many of the health conditions examined, globally, non-communicable diseases and injuries are generally on the rise.
Unfortunately, experts say anyone not in the high-income strata of the society would be at the receiving end of all these rapid disease burden.
Timothy Evans, Director of Health, Nutrition, and Population at the World Bank Group stated that: “The rapid shifts in disease burden place poor people in low- and middle-income countries at high risk of not having access to appropriate services and incurring payments for health care that push them deeper into poverty”.
“The data in these new reports are critical inputs to the efforts of policy makers in countries towards universal health coverage that aim to improve the health of their people, communities, and economies” he further explained.
Notwithstanding all these, the World Bank noted that children in sub-Saharan Africa are now less likely to die from diarrhoea and pneumonia, though these illnesses are still the most common causes of childhood death and sickness in most African countries.
According to the global financial custodian, loss of health due to diarrheal diseases dropped by 34 per cent between 1990 and 2010, lower respiratory infections (LRIs) such as pneumonia dropped 22 per cent, and protein-energy malnutrition was down 17 per cent worldwide.
Dr. Christopher Murray, IHME Director and one of the lead authors of the GBD study raised an alarm that the health landscape in sub-Saharan Africa is unexpectedly changing adding that “addressing chronic disease and certain communicable diseases will continue to be important, but people in sub-Saharan Africa are dealing with a greater range of illnesses today that aren’t fatal but are definitely disabling.”
Meanwhile, nutritional deficiencies were the leading cause for disability in childhood, while mental and behavioural disorders accounted for the most illness during adolescence and young adulthood, and musculoskeletal disorders were the largest drivers of disability in adulthood.
“In the region’s upper- and middle-income countries, non-communicable diseases emerged as a significant health threat. From 1990 to 2010, substantial increases in premature mortality and disability were recorded from stroke (up by 31%), depression (up by 61%), diabetes (up by 88%), and ischemic heart disease (or coronary artery disease, up by 37%),” the report revealed.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...