Rwandans are living longer than Kenyans after discovering what experts term as secrets to healthier lifestyles. Life expectancy in Kenya is 63 years, a year ahead of Uganda and Tanzania. In Rwanda, it is 65.
In a futuristic health roadmap for Africa launched in Nairobi, experts said the continent only has a narrow opportunity to achieve longer and healthier lives like the rest of the world. “Most models for health care delivery is a sure recipe for failure,” said Dr Alex Ezeh, the Executive Director of the Nairobi-based African Population and Health Research Centre.
The roadmap by The Lancet Commission on the future of health in Sub-Saharan Africa shows countries with strong disease prevention strategies to have healthier populations which are living longer lives.
The roadmap: The path to longer and healthier lives for all Africans by 2030, for example shows two thirds of Rwandans are likely to use an improved toilet, wash hands and live in a cleaner environment compared to only a third of Kenyans. While Rwanda, with just about a doctor for 20,000 people, has almost all children fully immunised, Kenya with three times the number of physicians still has a third of children missing lifesaving vaccines.
With devolution, Kenya has thrown huge amounts of money to medical infrastructure and technologies, but is still struggling with basic health problems including over 70,000 new HIV infections annually. “We are worried about the high rates of new HIV infections despite our big spending on treatment and medicines,” said Dr Nduku Kilonzo, head of the National Aids Control Council.
By Gatonye Gathura
The Express News