The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as announced Nigeria as the country with the world’s third lowest life expectancy rate and the lowest in West Africa sub-region.
Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live base on the year of its birth, its current age and other demographic factors including gender
Nigeria is the most populous black nation in the world with an increasing population of 200,097,145 as the birth rate keeps rising as well.
According to WHO data, average life expectancy in Nigeria has drastically reduced to 54.5 years of an age whereby the male life expectancy is 53.7 years while that of the women is 55.4 years.
Countries like the Central African Republic, Chad and Sierra Lone only have the life expectancy below that of Nigeria.
Surprisingly countries like Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Haiti, Niger, DR Congo, South Sudan and Somalia despite being stricken with wars, poverty still surpass Nigeria as their life expectancy rate ranges between 57.3 to 72.2 years.
After the country’s independence in 1960, Nigeria life expectancy rate was between 72-74.
Causes Of The Life Expectancy Reduction
The factors responsible for this sporadic decrease in life expectancy are attributed to sicknesses diseases and others.
Previously the major cause of life expectancy reduction was AIDS.
Aside from that Nigeria has a very high child and maternity mortality rate with an increase in poliovirus diseases thereby leading to the death of one of every five children born before the age of 5 due to many health challenges or issues in Nigeria.
1 out of 13 women dies during pregnancy and childbirth because some failed to seek professional medical attention.
According to the report, influenza and pneumonia have been cited as the number one cause of death in Nigeria taking over 305,460 lives.
Diarrheal diseases take the second place with 186,218 death, and tuberculosis is the third with 175,124 death, HIV and AIDS is the fourth with 168,900 death while malaria takes the fifth place with 112,371 deaths.
Other Factors that have contributed to the low-life expectancy are as follows:
• Low Birth Weight (87,318)
• Stroke (83,379)
• Birth Trauma (81,448)
• Coronary Heart Disease (76,410)
• Maternal Conditions (63,909)
• Meningitis (58,231)
• Liver Disease (48,789)
• Congenital Anomalies (48,704)
• Endocrine Disorders (42,961)
• Malnutrition (40,609)
• Other Injuries (39,645)
• Road Traffic Accidents (37,562)
• Diabetes Mellitus (30,922)
• Measles (26,672)
• Falls (21,350)
• Suicide (18,095)
• Violence (17,843)
• Drownings (15,670)
• Breast Cancer (14,932)
• Lung Disease (14,311)
Pathetic Comment From Government
According to Reuben Rine in his report, he wrote that “With the widely criticized claim attributed to Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment Dr Chris Ngige who stated that
“I am not worried about doctors leaving the country. We have a surplus. If you have a surplus, you export.” is pathetic. Apart from being a Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngege doubles as a medical doctor who has practised for over two decades in Nigeria and has risen to become a deputy director in the Federal Ministry of Health before his retirement. As such, he should have known the present unpleasant state of Nigeria’s health care system better.”
He further wrote that “Based on WHO standard for optimal health care delivery, doctor/patient ratio should be 1:600. Nevertheless, in Nigeria, we have 40,000 doctors taking care of 200 million people. Elsewhere, the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, disclosed last year that there’s a ratio of one doctor per 5,000 Nigerians, one of the highest rates in Africa. This trend is worrisome for Nigeria’s future and prosperity.”
The solution to life expectancy increase is to allow permit grant access to Professionals and experts to manage and supervise the health case initiation and delivery.
Food security creating means to get reliable and sufficient nutritious food to the people should be the topmost government priority.
The good news is that a study published recently had said life expectancy in Nigeria can increase to 74.8 years by 2040.
The study, “Forecasting life expectancy, years of life lost, and all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 250 causes of death: reference and alternative scenarios for 2016-40 for 195 countries and territories using data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016,” was carried out by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).