Zambia has highest women death rate


MEN in Iceland and women in Cyprus have the lowest risk of dying worldwide, and Australia is among only six countries that have cut death rates by more than 2 per cent in the past 40 years, researchers have found.

In a survey from 1970 to 2010, the researchers in Australia and the US found a widening gap between countries with the highest and lowest premature death rates in adults aged 15 to 60.

The findings are in contrast to the trends in child and maternal mortality, where rates are mostly dropping worldwide. Health officials have long thought if child deaths were decreasing and health systems were improving, adult deaths would similarly decline.

Their study was published today in the medical journal, Lancet.

“The new analysis challenges the common theories,” wrote Ai Koyanagi and Kenji Shibuya of the department of global health policy at the University of Tokyo, in an accompanying commentary.

They were not linked to the study. Mr Koyanagi and Mr Shibuya said it wasn’t clear why there were such major differences among countries in adult deaths.

The researchers calculated death rates in 187 countries using records from government registries, censuses, household surveys and other sources. The study was paid for by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Only a few countries have cut death rates by more than 2 per cent in the last 40 years: Australia, Italy, South Korea, Chile, Tunisia and Algeria. The US lagged significantly behind, dropping to 49th in the rankings for women and 45th for men. That puts it behind all of Western Europe as well as countries sush as Peru, Chile and Libya.

“The US is definitely on the wrong trajectory,” said Chris Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics at the University of Washington, one of the study’s authors. “(The US) spends the most on health out of all countries, but (it) is apparently spending on the wrong things.”

Mr Murray said they weren’t sure why some countries – like Australia and South Korea – were particularly successful in reducing death rates, but guessed better policies on things like tobacco control and road accidents might be responsible.

Death rates were highest for men in Swaziland and for women in Zambia. Researchers also found death rates jumped in eastern Europe, perhaps because health systems fell apart after the collapse of the Soviet Union and widespread smoking. In sub-Saharan Africa, deaths have fallen, possibly due to the rollout of lifesaving AIDS drugs.

Murray said adult deaths have largely been neglected by the UN, except for AIDS and tuberculosis programs.

“We need to recognise just how bad things are getting in some parts of the world,” he said.



  1. What mode was used in the collection of this data ? Did they use records from UTH or they also included the ones from nabwalya and shagombo areas where some of these deaths are not filed in computers ?:-?

  2. This is useless information. First of all, the bit about Zambian women is so small you have to search to see where it is in the report. The title is so alarming that one reads it to the end in the hopes of finding some “meat” in there, but only ends up with dry bones. Useless article, reading stuff on LT is disappointing some times. Can you LT folks try to make this site more interesting by editing what news feeds you receive before allowing it on your site?x(x(x(

  3. It’s not very nice to see such figures, is it? So we go into denial with questions like what mode did they use, etc. Fact is we are quite bad. For a country with so much natural and human resources, it is just unacceptable. What interest would these research have to put Zambia down for? I really hope that one day all of us will see that only the best should be for us. And we, ourselves, must try to bring that day.

  4. I wouldn’t call this useless. I would agree that this was an article from an institution in the United States, aimed at bringing to the reader’s attention the disparity between US spending on healthcare and the outcome of death prevention and reduced mortality. I could see how the editor might have reasoned that since the study also found that Zambia has a high mortality risk for women, it could make interesting Zambian news. While I agree with Eagle’s, that it lacks the breadth and information necessary to warrant the heading, I would hope it be useful in bringing to the attention of the voters, Zambia’s need to address several issues pertaining to the plight of the Zambian woman. Also, sooner or later someone will need to teach LT about plagiarism.

  5. Life is tough in rurals. Some women hav to paddle on streams for over 8hrs to get to a nearesr clinic which is also manned by an unprofessional staff. Most just deliver at homes and some end up dying from preventable deaths. Life is tough out there.

  6. Life is tough in rurals. Some women have to paddle for over 8hrs to get to the nearest clinic which is also manned by an unqualified staff. Its really tough out there. Women die from labour complications coz they can’t get to a clinic.

  7. Good Evening

    Interesting statistics but I also have my personal doubts about the whole research. I usually find it hard to accept or even verify such data especially when it’s given to us from the western worldview.

  8. out of 6 of my college friends, am the only one surviving…. pipo it’s not a joke!!! these know what they are talking about, my sista is a researcher with TDRC they travel to remote parts of the country to collect data…

  9. #2 No matter how “small” the section is, it does not change the research findings that Zambia has highest rate. Why do you avoid the facts and focus on the “size” of the details?
    If you have facts to support your view which would discredit this research which was carried out from 1970 to 2010, we are more than happy to join you and beat up LT.
    As Zambians we should not deny any “negative” news or facts about our country, we must not bury our heads in the sand and pretend all is well. That is why we stifle any progressive development or change to benefit the country .

    Some of you are full of negative feedback on LT or other Zambian things yet you don’t do the same to similar organization in those foreign continents where you have settled. Focus on the message and not the…

  10. 4 AND 7…I cant agree with more…well said.
    We have a problem…and many of us would like to bury our heads in the sand…or basically not agree with this because its ‘western’ backed…what this report has shown us is truly where we stand as a people…we have not moved in health, education, employement, community welfare, service delivery, the list goes on for so many years…we have always had huge figures in death issues, be it young people, children or women. This is indeed a time for us to decide on what service is, we do have money…we can generate money…just look at the scums we have gone through since 1991 and you will see that we have resources that could be used professionally. This is the time for young people to come up and clean our country through good governace:”>

  11. Ok, mwandi we didnt even need some foreign organization to conduct a research and tell us we die the most. We see death in our eyes almost everyday. People die back home in zambia. Lets not live in denial.
    Problem number 1—POOR Health care.
    Yeah, the article seems to have been compiled for U.S readers. LT, dont just copy and paste, try to redo articles so that the title reflects on at least 40% of the article!
    Something has to be done about the high death rate for women in Zambia.

  12. Please people just accept that things are bad in Zambia in terms of basic services such as health hence leading to this high mortality. Even the UN Development Index ranks Zambia among the bottom in the world. Just in case you didnt know Zambian women have the highest ranking in cervical cancer illness, the highest maternal mortality death and 99.99% of all kidney patients in Zambia go untreated and die. The services my dear citizens are not there! Why would the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation fund a study to just rubbish Zambia? Have they got any personal interest to do so! Accept facts and make efforts to improve the situation. Denial will never take you anywhere. Yes, the statistics are embarassing but if you are concerned about your country, this is the time to get off you butt!

  13. Not a single day passes without one of the i.d.i.o.ts on the blog boring us with impressive but largely useless macro economic statistcs while the reality on the ground is that of despair and total collapse of the system. for example yesterday i was watching a documentary about TAZARA on BBC4 ala kuti walila(mind you the MD always comes from Zambia), any one who supports this government without reservations at all must be seriously sick in the head.

  14. #12 NINE CHALE
    On the fence as usual, come out you coward you’re MMD mascarading as a non- aligned. You dont need statistics from the west all you need is to visit UTH to see how people die like flies without anyone raising an eyebrow as if everything is normal.

  15. The report should be taken seriuosly. We have a big problem in Zambia and we have to act fast. Nearly every sector in our country is mediocre. Even countries which have been at war for a long time do better than us. One of the bloggers mentioned for example TAZARA. It is not a secret that trains run by Tanzanian crews are better off than those run by Zambians despite the MD being Zambian. Look at our education system, roads etc. Chaumila no mupini ku ntanshi Mwanawasa afwa. We need good leadership in Zambia are not give all power to the President. It is sad that the Police are no longer Zambia police but MMD police…God help us, we are doomed as a nation.

  16. Mwe bantu.. this is so true! I lost my mum who would be 56 this year, her two younger sisters and most of her female cousins. From 15 aunties I had in 1997, I only have one in 2010 and may I mention that she already complains of diabetes, BP and all sorts, she is only 44. The government needs to look after its people period. If we continue to lose our mothers, who is going to look after our children while the men continue to bicker ??????

  17. Good, it took over 10 interested bloggers for me to find something more newsworthy than this LT article. The problem is not that we aren’t taking this news seriously, it’s the lack of information contained. So thanks for shedding more light on the issue, the title frustrated my antennas which were on high alert. This subject is very serious, LT should consider better ways of bringing such news for us bloggers to dig deeper into things. You never know who might be helped this way.**==

  18. oh, and about cervical cancer, there’s a virus that increases the risk of getting cervical cancer and there is a vaccine for it. It’s also here in Russia. Why doesn’t the govt, upon seeing that zambian women have the most cases, atleast do something to reduce the risk?
    How many girls/women regularly visit the gynecologist for check up? my guess is, very few. we need some sensitization.

  19. limbi pantu batemwa ukubika ifintu ifingi muli banyenye, pakuti nakalembula nyo intu bengishya mo :((

  20. I’m with #1 on this — how did they get this data; Zed does not have a central data store for any kind of information. True, most statistics are estimates, but how do you estimate based on other estimates, i.e. no accurate birth records, no accurate, death records, no accurate population count. Everything is estimated – guestimated is more like it.:-w

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