Life expectancy at birth

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According to 2017 projections, the life expectancy at birth is 66.6 years, signifying a 2.46% increase from the corresponding previous year (2014).

Figure 3 Evolution of life expectancy.JPG

The health status of the population of Rwanda has greatly improved in recent years (6). This is in part due to an increase in health facilities and their geographic distribution, access to safe drinking water, improved housing and the improvement of immunization coverage of all vaccines among children 12-23 months from 75% in 2005 to 93% in 2015 (18).

Between 1991 and 2002, life expectancy decreased from 54 to 51 years, as a consequence the 1994 genocide with its direct (a death toll exceeding one million) and indirect (impoverishment of the population, social disruption, disruption of the health system, among other causes) impacts (6).

Life expectancy increased again from 51 to 64 years over the period of one decade (2002-2012), which reflects the impact of social welfare and health policies (19). Life expectancy has further increased to 66.6 years according to 2017 projections (5). Some contributions to the increased life expectancy include improvement of geographic and financial access to health care and the introduction of community health workers. Additionally, the long term impact of past interventions to mitigate the consequences of the genocide and more generally to improve the quality of life of Rwandans such as enhancement in transport, road networks, education and access to drinking water also contribute to the rising life expectancy (6).