HIV Still Biggest Cause of Death in Zambia
Studies from the University of Witwatersrand and the University of Zambia have highlighted that HIV remains the leading cause of death in Zambia.
The study demonstrated that in general despite people in sub-Saharan Africa living longer than previously, they are still well below the rest of the world when it comes to life expectancy.
For Zambians, HIV/AIDS is the biggest killer for those aged 15-59, with higher proportions amongst women than men.
The study shows that for men, injuries and accidental deaths was the second leading cause of death, while for women it was tuberculosis.
The researchers, however, point out that some HIV/AIDS deaths might have been misclassified as tuberculosis deaths as the two are closely associated.
Malaria and non-communicable diseases of the circulatory system each also accounted for a significant portion of deaths, although the ranking of these diseases varied by gender.
The study indicates that a notable number of additional years of life expectancy would be gained across the population by eliminating especially HIV/AIDS in the adult age group.
For the male population, the number of years gained would be 5.77 years, while for the female population it would be 6.40 years in the 15 to 59 age group.
Eliminating tuberculosis and malaria in the country could also increase adult life expectancy by between 1.09 and 1.71 years.
In addition to the above, the analysis shows a correlation between level of education and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, along with a strong regional variation in cause of death patterns, especially in terms of HIV/AIDS deaths, which varied between 25.5% in the northern province to 45.1% in the western province of Zambia.