South Africa Has The Best Quality Of Death In Africa


No, the headline line is not sarcastic, South Africa has the best quality of death in Africa and is ranked the 34th country in the world where one can “hope for a good death” or “a good life to the end”. Confused huh? Who wouldn’t be? Just recently, the murder rate of the country was likened to that of a nation torn apart by war, and here, is a “contradictory” article. So, “What the heck is this write-up about?” you might be forced to ask.

Relax, you’re not about to read that the 17,805 South Africans murdered in the past financial year died good. You’re however, being informed that South Africa is leading Africa, and is relatively, doing well globally in terms of improving the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems associated with life threatening illness, through prevention, relief of suffering and care delivered in the final stages of a terminal illness.

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Based on the new and expanded 2015 Quality of Death Index evaluation which chronicled and ranked the performances of 80 countries on the basis of their palliative and healthcare environment, human resources, the affordability of care, the quality of care and the level of community engagement, South Africa is at position 34 in the Index,the highest ranking African country. 

The findings of the Study further revealed that South Africa has better availability of medicines than many African countries and is also with the continent’s highest number of functional hospices to such extent that “patients from neighboring countries such as Swaziland, Namibia and Botswana receive care in South Africa.”

As Support for palliative care in South Africa are derived from variety of sources aside government funding South Africa is ranked above countries like Portugal, Brazil, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Argentina and even Russia.

The findings further revealed that “there is a shortage of specialized palliative care professionals, and accreditation of specialist palliative care training is not the norm.” The 2015 Quality of Death Index studied 13 African countries and their scores are as presented below:

Ranks/13 (In Africa) Global Rank/80 Countries Scores/100
1st 34th South Africa 48.5
2nd 35th Uganda 47.8
3rd 51st Ghana 34.3
4th 52nd Morocco 33.8
5th 54th Tanzania 33.4
6th 56th Egypt 32.9
7th 59th Zimbabwe 31.3
8th 61st Zambia 30.3
9th 63rd Kenya 30.0
10th 66th Malawi 27.0
11th 70th Ethiopia 25.1
12th 72nd Botswana 22.8
13th 77th Nigeria 16.9

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Meanwhile the top 10 leading countries with the best quality of death globally is as shown below:

Countries Global Rank/80 Scores/100
United Kingdom 1st 93.9
Australia 2nd 91.6
New Zealand 3rd 87.6
Ireland 4th 85.8
Belgium 5th 84.5
Taiwan 6th 81.3
Germany 7th 82.0
Netherlands 8th 80.9
United States 9th 80.8
France 10th 79.4

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