Kenyas life expectancy rate rises Story by PAUL REDFERN, Nation correspondent Publication Date: 7/7/2008 London Kenya and Uganda are among the top five countries with an improving life expectancy rate in Africa, according to latest statistics released by the United Nations and Britains Department for International Development. The life expectancy rate in Kenya is up by more than three per cent to 54 years while in Uganda it is up by nearly four per cent to 51.5 years. Ugandas life expectancy percentage increase is the highest in Africa after Botswana with a life expectancy rate of 50 while Malawi and Zambia make up the other two countries, although in both countries life expectancy rates are low at 43 and 42 years respectively. Deterioration Countries showing the worst deterioration in terms of life expectancy mainly because of the growing number of people with HIV and Aids are Swaziland, South Africa, Mozambique and Lesotho. All of them have seen rates fall by between two and four per cent. An estimated 22.5 million people in Africa are now believed to be infected with HIV, with 1.7 million new infections in 2007. Currently, only 2.12 million people are receiving anti-retroviral treatment in Africa. It was hoped that this number would be increased substantially, thanks to Western donor support over the coming decade. However, those hopes appear to have been dashed with reports that G8 countries are this week preparing to backtrack on key aid pledges, including a promise to provide universal access to Aids treatment. The pledge has been a benchmark around which health campaigners and others have been organising their work, especially in Africa, the Financial Times said. Aids prevention The draft says the G8 will continue working towards the goal of universal access to HIV/Aids prevention, treatment care but it does not mention the 2010 deadline. In addition, G8 leaders are divided on how to fulfil one of the headline commitments at last years Heiligendamm summit in Germany to provide $60 billion over the coming years for tackling malaria, tuberculosis and Aids, and for strengthening health-care systems in developing countries. This promise remains in brackets in the draft, indicating that no agreement has been reached.