Kenya is the sixth healthiest country in Africa and number 146 in the global health ranking index amidst a nerve racking health workers strike for several weeks now, a new report on sustainable development goals on 188 countries shows.
In the UN sponsored surey, Algeria was rated the healthiest country on the continent followed by Tunisia and Egypt respectively while Iceland and Singapore were top on the world’s list of healthy countries.
Tanzania and Uganda emerged position 154 and 173 respectively. Kenya’s health ranking index was boosted by higher income per capita relative to her neighbours and improvements in public health care.
The state of a country’s health impacts on its ability to attract both human and financial capital since it is supports the country’s safety ranking and stability. For instance, there was a flight ban by western nations to many African countries during Ebola outbreak last year.
Countries that ranked well had better water supply and sanitation, lower poverty levels, promoted food security and sustainable agriculture. They also promoted gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. They also took urgent actions to combat climate change while make settlement in cities more inclusive.
They also worked hard to reduce all forms of violence in the society.
Direct indicators include mortality disaggregated by age (under-5 and neonatal) and cause (maternal, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, road injuries, self-harm, unintentional poisonings, exposure to forces of nature and interpersonal violence.
HIV and malaria
Others were disease incidence (HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and hepatitis B) and prevalence (neglected tropical diseases).
The GBD comparative risk assessment includes measurement of exposure prevalence included as health-related SDG indicators (under-5 stunting, wasting, and overweight; tobacco smoking; harmful alcohol use; intimate partner violence; unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene; household air pollution; and ambient particulate matter.
African countries were largely in the fourth quartile while the first quartile was dominated by western Europe and high income North America.