These country disease status reports provide a succinct overview of disease profiles across countries in the WHO African region. The focus is on the status of key indicators for the eradication, elimination and control of communicable and non-communicable at national level, and how these indicators measure up against the SDG 2030 goals.
The spotlight is on major communicable diseases such as malaria, HIV and TB, and neglected tropical diseases; the most important non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, di betes and chronic respiratory diseases; and the immunization status of various antigens and outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, if any. Childhood mortality is presented for each country as a key indicator of overall health status.
While enormous progress has been made in many areas of disease eradication, elimination and control in the WHO African region, there are few SDG indicators that have been met in full. The COVID-19 pandemic is at least partly responsible for this, but we must not ignore that fact that in some cases, momentum was already slowing.
\ Algeria was the third African country to be officially certified malaria-free in 2019, after Mauritius (1973) and Morocco (2010). Botswana, Cabo Verde, Comoros, Eswatini and South Africa remain committed to malaria elimination and are part of the E-2020 initiative, launched in 2017.
\ Declines in numbers of new HIV infections are greatest in sub-Saharan Africa; a 57% reduction in Eastern and Southern Africa, and a 49% reduction in Western and Central Africa.
\ Data show that by 2022, two-thirds of the 29.8 million of the 39 million [33.1 million–45.7 million] people living with HIV globally are receiving life-saving treatment. Access to antiretroviral therapy has expanded massively in sub-Saharan Africa, with 82% receiving antiretroviral therapy in Africa. An additional 0.6 million people received HIV treatment in each of 2020, 2021 and 2022.
\ There has been progress in HIV treatment, support and care. Six countries (Botswana, Eswatini, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe) achieved the 95-95-95 targets in 2022. Eight countries (Nigeria, Burundi, Sao Tome and Principe, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Seychelles and Zambia) are within reach of these targets.
\ Based on the TB incidence rate, 18 countries in the African Region were among the 30 high TB burden countries in the world. Three countries in Africa accounted for close to 10% of cases to global TB cases: Nigeria (4.4%), Democratic Republic of the Congo (2.9%), and South Africa (2.1%)
\ By 2021, 15 countries in the African region (out of 77 worldwide) had reached the 2020 milestone of the End TB Strategy for reducing the TB incidence rate
\ In 2021, 42% of global TB deaths among HIV-negative people occurred in the WHO African regions. There is considerable national variation in the TB mortality rate, with most of the countries with the highest rates found in the African Region.
\ Ten countries which, by 2021, had reached the 2020 milestone of the End TB Strategy for reducing the total number of TB deaths are in the WHO African region. The progress previously made towards the first milestone of the End TB Strategy, which called for a 35% reduction between 2015 and 2020, has been reversed; the net reduction from 2015 to 2021 was only 5.9%.
\ By 2022, 42 African countries had eradicated Guinea worm disease, 7 were certified to have eliminated human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), 6 eliminated trachoma, and 2 eliminated lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem.
\ In December 2022, the Democratic Republic of Congo was certified free of Guinea worm disease. A total of 42 African countries have been certified free, with only five countries (Angola, Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, and South Sudan) remaining.
\ A total of 22 African countries are pending validation of elimination of HAT, and another 3 have certification of elimination of trachoma pending validation.
\ The African region has made significant strides in the fight against polio, reaching a monumental achievement in August 2020 when the region was certified as free of indigenous wild polio after eliminating all forms of wild poliovirus.
\ By March 2022, 30 African countries have been validated as having achieved Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) elimination. Eight countries (Angola, Central African Republic, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan) have not yet eliminated MNT.