Life expectancy in Africa rose by nearly 10 years from 2000 to 2019. The average age an African died at rose from 46 to 56. The rise was the biggest of anywhere in the world. However, it was far below the global average of 64 years. The WHO says the improvement is because of better maternal and child healthcare. Advances in fighting infectious diseases, like malaria and HIV, and easier access to health services also helped.
The WHO urged African nations to keep the momentum going, so life expectancy rates keep rising. It called for more investment in healthcare to deal with future challenges. There will be more pressure on hospitals from growing populations. The WHO said there was a big increase in the numbers of Africans with high blood pressure and diabetes. It added: "Unless countries enhance measures…the health gains could be jeopardized."