Atlas of the African Health Statistics 2017
The 2017 edition of the atlas of the African health statistics describes the health situation and trends in the WHO African Region. Analysis is based on standardized data from the World Health Organization and other UN agencies such as UNICEF. The focus is on the progress and performance of key health indicators during the last 5 – 10 years. For some of the indicators, current or disaggregated data were unavailable – which underscores the urgent need to strengthen the data systems to improve the availability and quality of health data in the Region.
The progress and performance of each indicator is presented for the Region, and then by country and other equity stratifiers such as age and sex where relevant. Disaggregation of results by country and other equity stratifiers was done to identify countries and key population groups that require special efforts to achieve parity and improve the national and Regional average.
Given that the African Region did not meet most of the Millennium Development Goals, special attention was paid to the UHC/SDG indicators. Wherever possible, linear projections, based on the average annual rate of change, were done to predict the future performance of UHC/SDG-related indicators and provide guidance on how much more needs to be done in each country to meet the UHC/SDG targets. This included computation of annual targets for each indicator and for each country which are a useful guide for Member States to set their own targets during development of national and disease-programme-specific health strategies and plans.
Comparison with other WHO Regions was done to give an idea on where the African Region stands in relation to its peers in the world.
The atlas is divided into the following 11 sections: Chapter 1 provides a description of Regions of the world that the World Health Organizations collaborates with to improve health globally. Chapter 2 is a tabular presentation of the progress and performance of the UHC/SDG indicators, together with a prediction of future performance of each indicator. Chapter 3 looks at mortality and morbidity statistics; focusing on average and healthy life expectancy at birth, mortality rates among children and adults, most common causes of death, and most common diagnoses for utilization of outpatient and inpatient services. Chapter 4 presents statistics for maternal and reproductive health; focusing on maternal mortality, and coverage of interventions for maternal and reproductive health. Chapter 5 presents the statistics for child health (immunization and care seeking) and nutrition (stunting, maternal anaemia, low birth weight, overweight, breastfeeding and wasting). Chapter 6 focusses on adolescent health services. The burden and impact of communicable and non-communicable diseases are presented in Chapters 7 and 8, respectively. As neglected tropical diseases have become a key priority for WHO, particular attention was drawn to assessing the burden of neglected tropical diseases in the Region; however, this analysis was hampered by the lack of data in most of the countries. Chapter 9 focuses on health emergencies, Chapter 10 on health systems and services and Chapter 11 on social determinants of health.
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