COUNTRIES WITH THE LOWEST LIFE EXPECTANCY
Added on: 8th Sep 2016
Starting off our list with the lowest life expectancies is
Botswana. This mid-sized South African country of just over
2 million people enjoys relative political stability and
socioeconomic prosperity (compared to other countries on
the list). However, Botswana suffers from an HIV/AIDS
epidemic with around a quarter of its population being infected.
Therefore, it is understandable why local people only live
53.3 years on average.
A landlocked country in West Africa, Niger faces serious
challenges due to its inhospitable desert terrain, poverty,
high fertility rates and overpopulation without birth control.
Apart from a very low life expectancy, Niger also has the
sad primacy of the world’s highest infant mortality rate
as there is not adequate nutrition for most of the
poor country´s children.
Another West African country, Ivory Coast has a relatively
high income per capita but in terms of healthcare, it still has
a lot to work on. There is an enormous lack of physicians
in the country (only 12 physicians per 100,000 people) and
more than a third of local women undergo female genital
mutilation, an extremely painful practice as a result of which
many girls and women die. Moreover, HIV/AIDS
is also a significant problem.
Home to about 10.5 million people, Guinea is where the
infamous 2014 Ebola epidemic originated. Apart from this
virus, the country struggles to cope with several other
deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria. Degradation
of care practices, limited access to medical services,
inadequate hygiene practices and a lack of food diversity
are also reasons why the Guineans only live 52.44 years
The world’s second most populous landlocked country,
Uganda has been suffering from frequent conflicts,
including a lengthy civil war which has caused tens of
thousands of casualties and displaced more than a
million people. Uganda has achieved some partial
successes in their fight against HIV/AIDS but death from
pregnancy-related complications and very high infant
mortality remain considerable problems in this
East African country.
One of the smallest African countries, Malawi is a poor, rural
country that has been failing to improve its under-developed
healthcare. While Malawi has been making some progress on
decreasing child mortality and reducing the incidences of
HIV/AIDS and some other diseases, it still struggles with
enormous maternal mortality and female genital mutilation.
As South Africa is one of the most affluent and prosperous
countries in Africa, it might be surprising to see this country
on our list but there is a good reason for that. In fact,
there is a big difference between the average life expectancy
of black South Africans (48 years) and white South Africans
(71 years). With only 16% of the population covered by
medical schemes, South Africa has an estimated 6.3 million
people living with HIV, more than any other country in the world.
With its 182 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous
country in Africa and the 7th most populous country in the
world. Unfortunately, only half of the population has access
to potable water and appropriate sanitation, which, combined
with widespread sectarian violence and other socio-pathogenic
problems, has resulted in a very low average life expectancy.
Located in Eastern Africa, Somalia is a poor, mid-sized
country notorious for ongoing civil war and unrests as
a number of armed factions have been competing for
influence in the country. Somalia’s public healthcare
system as well as other parts of its infrastructure were
largely destroyed during the war, leaving most of its
population without access to basic healthcare and