President John Mahama has said life expectancy of Ghanaians has increased by 14 years.
According to him, the increase is due to advances in medicine, improvements in health infrastructure and an increase in health personnel.
Mr Mahama told Parliament in his State of the Nation address on Thursday February 25 that: “At independence, our life expectancy was a little over 40 years; today life expectancy has increased by more than 14 years.”
He said Ghanaians are not only living longer in their adult years but “more infants are living to see those years, too”.
Mr Mahama said: “According to the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey, there has been a drastic decrease in the rates of infant mortality and under-five mortality. Over the last decade, under-five mortality decreased from 111 to 60 per 1000 live births. Infant mortality dropped by almost 30 per cent from 64 to 41 per 1000 live births over the same period. The mothers of these children are also surviving during pregnancies and after childbirths because antenatal and post- natal care have improved.”
The president said his government would invest in preventive health care treatment of chronic, non-communicable diseases.
“We are poised to invest heavily in education and preventive health care for the treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases due to lifestyle choices. Diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity.
The investment in preventive health is even more prudent as our nutritional habits continue to change. The double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases raises even more fundamental questions about sustainable healthcare financing”.