Key Facts

Key facts

According to WHO, five diseases are responsible for a preponderant share of morbidity and mortality in Africa: HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Diabetes and Hypertension.

Any company based in Africa is concerned by these diseases, which are the leading causes of death and absenteeism, the main reason for seeing the doctor and the biggest source of medical expenses for employees and their families.

The example of malaria is emblematic in this respect. In fact, beyond the health crises and deaths it causes, malaria is an obstacle to economic development.

According to the World Bank, malaria causes the equivalent of 10€ billion in GDP on the African continent to be lost each year.

It is socially responsible and economically profitable for companies to invest in health. The cost of inaction is 3 to 4 times higher than the cost of action. It is estimated that the average cost attributable to malaria-related absenteeism and curative expenses is around 100€ per employee per year. This cost should be compared to the budget of 25€ per employee needed to raise awareness and equip each household with long-lasting insecticide-treated nets. The return on investment is quite significant: 1€ invested in prevention generates 4€ in savings.


  • Africa is the most HIV/AIDS affected region in the world, with predominance amongst young women.
  • The HIV/AIDS pandemic has an impact on labour supply, through increased mortality and morbidity.

19.6 million

People living with HIV in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region in 2017

6.1 million

People living with HIV in the West and Central Africa Region in 2017

$170 - $300

Annual costs per employee associated with sickness and reduced productivity


Reduction in growth rate due to reduced availability of skilled labour


  • Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide.
  • In 2017, 10 million people fell ill with TB, and 1.6 million died from the disease. TB is a leading killer of HIV-positive people.

10 million

People who fell ill with TB in Africa Region in 2017

1.6 million

People who died due to TB in Africa Region in 2017


Average pre-symptoms individual income loss due to TB episode

US$ 10,000

Average cost per patient in developing countries in Africa Region


  • In 2017, there were an estimated 219 million cases of malaria in 87 countries.
  • The estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 435,000 in 2017.

219 million

Cases of malaria in 87 countries  in 2017


Estimated number of malaria deaths in 2017

10€ billion

Loss in GDP on the African continent each year due to Malaria


per employee per year average cost attributable to malaria-related absenteeism and curative expenses


  • The number of people with diabetes rose from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014
  • The global prevalence of diabetes* among adults over 18 years of age rose from 4.7% in 1980 to 8.5% in 2014


People in Africa with diabetes in 2017

1.5 million

Deaths due to Diabetes in Africa Region in 2014

$148 - $175

Estimated monthly direct medical costs per individual in Africa

3.3 billion

Total health expenditure due to diabetes in Africa in 2017


  • Nearly one billion people have high blood pressure (hypertension); of these, two-thirds are in developing countries.
  • Hypertension is one of the most important causes of premature death worldwide and the problem is growing;

1.56 billion

Estimated number of hypertensives in Africa by 2025

9.4 million

Estimated deaths due to High blood pressure


Average healthcare expenditure as a percentage of GDP for African countries


Health care expenditure per capita in South Africa

Source: WHO