By Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor
Zimbabwe’s life expectancy has increased to 65 years from 45 years recorded in 2002, according to the 2022 Population and Housing Census Preliminary Results on Mortality Dissemination.
Presenting the 2022 Population and Housing Census Preliminary Results on Mortality and Orphanhood this Tuesday, ZIMSTAT Director General, Mr Taguma Mahonde said, “Life expectancy at birth was 64.7 years for both semesters combined. Females had a higher life expectancy (68.0 years) than males (61.2 years). Life expectancy at birth was higher in urban areas 65.5 years than in rural areas 63.3.”
The country has also recorded a 63% decline in maternal mortality.
“A total of 1589 maternal deaths were reported against 437 478 live births, giving a national maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 363 per 100 000 live births,” he added.
Health experts commended the decline in maternal mortality while calling for more efforts to further reduce the figures.
“If we look at maternal mortality ratio, we note that it peaked in 2002 at 1068. We have seen a steep decline to 2012, which declined to 525 per 100 000. Maternal mortality further declined to 363. It’s a phenomenal 63% decline which is very commendable as we strive towards achieving zero maternal deaths in line with the SDGs target by the year 2030,” said Mr Piason Mlambo, a specialist with UNFPA Zimbabwe.
Reproductive Health director in the Ministry of Health And Child Care, Dr Mervyn Venge noted, “We can pat ourselves on the back for the decrease in maternal mortality, although we are still far off the mark, but I think there is so much progress which has been registered.”
UNICEF ZIMBABWE Chief of Health, Dr Alex Adjagba said, “It’s a decrease and it’s commendable, but it’s still a bit high thus we should Continue with the efforts to further decrease the figures. The gap between urban and rural is also worrying.”
The mortality and orphanhood report is the 5th in a series of eight reports to be disseminated by ZIMSTAT with the fertility, education and labour force modules set to be released in the coming weeks.