Atlas of the African Health Statistics 2018
The 2018 edition of the Atlas of 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 agencies of the United Nations, such as UNICEF and the World Bank. The focus is on the progress and performance of key health indicators during the last 5–10 years. Current or disaggregated data were not available for some of the indicators, which underscores the urgent need to strengthen data systems to improve the availability and quality of health data in the African Region.
The progress and performance of each indicator is presented for the Region and by country and, when relevant, by other equity stratifiers such as age and sex. Disaggregation of results by country and equity stratifiers was done to identify those countries and key population groups that require special efforts to achieve parity and improve the national and Regional averages.
Given that the African Region did not meet most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), special attention was paid to the UHC and SDG indicators. Wherever possible, linear projections based on the average annual rate of change were done to predict future performance and provide guidance on how much more needs to be done in each country to meet the UHC and SDG targets. This included computation of annual targets for each indicator and for each country, which are useful guides for Member States to set their own targets during the development of national and disease-specific health strategies and plans. Comparison with other WHO regions was done to indicate where the African Region stands in relation to them and global results.
The Atlas is divided into 11 sections: Chapter 1 provides a description of the regions of the world where WHO operates to improve health globally. Chapter 2 is a tabular presentation of the progress and performance of the UHC and 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 on coverage of interventions for maternal and reproductive health. Chapter 5 presents 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 noncommunicable 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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