Publication Title: Journal of African Economies
Abstract: There is no question that Africa bears a heavy burden of disease. Life expectancy at birth in the year 2006 was 50 years in sub Saharan Africa. In the second least healthy region, South Asia, it was 64 years, while in high income countries it was 79. Over the last five decades, most of the developing world made remarkable strides in catching up to rich-country standards of health. In Africa, progress in health was already slow before the advent of HIV/AIDS, and since that time the continent has become sicker as the rest of the world continued to become healthier. Prepared for the African Economic Research Consortium, 2008.