Along with various health statuses, average life expectancy ranges across the Asia Pacific region. Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore all exhibit some of the world’s highest life expectancies. However, Myanmar, Laos, and Timor-Leste fall behind in terms of average life expectancies at birth, with Myanmar’s average life expectancy being as much as 16 years lower than Singapore. Despite the significant variations between countries, average life expectancies have been increasing throughout the region.
Although, communicable diseases such as malaria (diseases spread from one person to another, airborne disease, or diseases spread through an insect bite) are still a problem in the Asia Pacific region, the number of malaria cases has greatly reduced over the past ten years. With one of the biggest populations in the world, 2017 saw India record the highest number of malaria cases throughout the Asia Pacific region. As malaria has also always posed a huge threat in the Southeast Asian region, governments of the region devised plans to eradicate the disease by 2030. Other life threatening communicable diseases which are prevalent throughout the region include HIV and tuberculosis. However, recently tuberculosis has become more manageable with high vaccination rates against tuberculosis among children. Despite one disease becoming more controlled, there is still a high number of people living with HIV in the Asia Pacific region. Without a cure this has resulted in a high number of deaths due to AIDS.
Despite some countries in the Asia Pacific region possessing more advanced healthcare systems than others, the shock global outbreak of the coronavirus shook the Asia Pacific region as a whole to its core. The number of cases soared throughout the pandemic. China, South Korea, Japan, and India were just some of the countries which recorded a high number of cases. As the world waited for a vaccine, many citizens’ lives and health were dramatically altered across the Asia Pacific region. Not only were case numbers high but Asia Pacific also suffered many deaths due to COVID-19.