Income and Wealth Distribution affects Ethiopia Healthcare

The length of life inequality has decreased and life expectancy increased between 2000 to 2011 in Ethiopia.1 There is a larger length of life inequality between rural and urban residents, also between less wealthy and more wealthy people.1 The population level health in Ethiopia can be assessed by estimating length of life inequality and life expectancy to provide a baseline for priority setting and resource allocation.1 Therefore, distribution of money, income and wealth play a significant role in affecting in health which is measured by life expectancy.

1475-9276-12-52-1.jpg

Figure. 1. Mortality distribution for highest and lowest wealth quintile 2011. Mortality given as deaths per 1000 (y-axis) plotted against five-year age groups (x-axis).

From Figure 1, we can see a distribution of deaths among different five year age-groups for lowest wealth and highest wealth quintile respectively.

  • The highest number of deaths per 1000 for the highest wealth quintile is age group 75-79, with an estimate of 140 deaths per 1000.
  •  The highest number of deaths per 1000 for lowest wealth quintile is age group less than 5, with an estimate of 140 deaths per 1000.
  • Significant high death rate for age group less than 5 for highest wealth quintile, with an estimate of 85 deaths per 1000.
  • peak number of deaths for age group 70-74, an estimated 90 deaths per 1000 in highest wealth quintile.
  • lowest number of deaths for age group 5-9 for lowest wealth quintile, with estimate of 10 deaths per 1000.
  • lowest number of deaths for age group 5-9 for highest wealth quintile, with an estimate of less than 10 deaths per 1000.
  • Both curves show a steep drop in number of deaths per 1000, followed by a gradual increase across the age groups reaching a peak in age groups 70-74 and 75-79, before a steep decrease in mortality rate again.

1475-9276-12-52-2.jpg

Figure 2. Life expectancy (central dotes) and the absolute length of life inequality (high and low bar) for wealth quintiles indicates larger within- than between-group inequality.1

There is a clear socio economic gradient in Ethiopia

  • The life expectancy ranging from 53.4 years in the lowest wealth quintile to 62.5 years in the highest quintile, a significant difference of 9 years in life expectancies.
  • The middle and highest wealth quintiles have highest life expectancies of 60 and 62 years respectively.
  •  The lowest life expectancies are 54 and 55 years for lowest and second wealth quintiles respectively.

1.      Tranvåg EJ, Ali M, Norheim OF. Health inequalities in Ethiopia: modelling inequalities in length of life within and between population groups. International Journal for Equity in Health [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2014 Mar 10];12(52). Available from: http://www.equityhealthj.com/content/12/1/52

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