Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Trends in life expectancy and the macroeconomy in Malawi

Matchaya, Greenwell C (2007): Trends in life expectancy and the macroeconomy in Malawi. Published in: Malawi Medical Journal , Vol. 19, No. 4 (1 December 2007): pp. 154-158.

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The purpose of this paper was to study trends in life expectancy in Malawi since independence and offer possible explanations regarding its inter-temporal variations. Descriptive analysis has shown that life expectancy in Malawi has trailed below Sub Saharan Africa’s average. From the 1960s through early 1980s, life expectancy improved due to rising incomes and absence of HIV/AIDS. After early 1980s life expectancy declined tremendously and never improved due to the spread of HIV/AIDS, the economic slump that followed the World Bank’s Structural Adjustment programmes (SAP) and the widespread corruption and poor governance in the era of democracy. It is found that at the turn of the new millennium, Malawians were no healthier than their ancestors at the dawn of independence, though such a trend somehow started changing for the better after 2004. In order to meet her health Millennium Development Goals by 2015, Malawi needs to put good governance, agricultural performance and increases in health expenditure at the heart of development policies.

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