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Here are the Top 5 Killer Diseases and Infections in Africa, 2019

A lot of people outside Africa perceive the continent as a hub for killer diseases and the statistics coming out from here do not help in changing the assertion.

Infections like malaria, which has been adequately controlled in many parts of the world, remain a great issue on the continent. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over one million people die from malaria each year, (whom are mostly children under five years of age); 90% of these cases occur in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Below is a list of other diseases that are causing havoc on the continent by claiming millions of lives yearly.

1. Pneumonia

According to official statistics, Pneumonia and other lower respiratory tract infections are among the leading causes of death in Africa. The disease affects both children and adults and gives its victims very little chance for survival.

However, early detection and treatment is highly advised in cases involving lower respiratory infection to give the patients a little chance for survival.

Pneumonia is responsible for 90% of lower respiratory tract infection, and is responsible for taking the lives of more than 800,000 people yearly.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

The widely publicized disease attacks the immune system, and therefore prevents the body from fighting harmful infections. Once the immune system of the body is broken, it cannot stand or defend itself against infections.

HIV/AIDS is among the 5 most wide spread deadly disease yet it is one of the most preventable.


HIV is primarily spread by unprotected sexual intercourse with someone who has HIV. Other routine of infection includes sharing needles, syringe, unsterilized universal equipment and babies born to an infected mother.

There are more than 33 million people infected with HIV/AIDS and 65% of this people are from sub-Saharan Africa.

3. Malaria

Malaria has become a household name in Africa, and when it comes to taking lives it does so without mercy. Malaria affects more than 500 million people usually, causing between 1 and 3 million deaths.

The prevalence rate of malaria is excessively high especially in the sub-Saharan Africa where up to 90% of all cases are known to occur.

4. Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is the passage of three or more stool in any given day. In some cases, it is defined as the passage of stool more frequently than is normal for the individual. This disease is most common in Africa most especially within the poorest and developing countries.

In Africa, diarrhoea is so predominant that it is responsible for 8% of all death in Africa.

Diarrhoea is a common disease in Africa because of high rates of malnutrition.

5. Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is one of the major diseases in Africa that kills after a long period of inflicting an exhausting condition on the victim.

In Africa, tuberculosis is very common, and more people die from tuberculosis in Africa than elsewhere.

The typical TB infection attacks the lungs but it is not limited to this organ as it can equally infect other part of the body. Immunization, allowing proper ventilation, adequate diet, and good personal hygiene are some of the sure ways to prevent tuberculosis. 

AR, Hepatitis B, Syphilis, Meningitis, Tetanus, Whooping Cough, and Measles are other diseases that have claimed many lives.


Written by How Africa

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