NEW figures which show that life expectancy has dropped across the district “only epitomise our ongoing social deprivation.”
‘Life Expectancy in Northern Ireland’, published by the Department of Health has revealed that both male and female life expectancy is on the decline in Derry City and Strabane.
Between 2016-18, the average life expectancy in Northern Ireland was 78.7 years for men and 82.4 years for women. However, across the council those figures have diminished to 78 years for men and 81.3 years for women.
Overall, this means that local women are expected to live a full year less than other females across the rest of the country. Local men live around eight and a half months less.
“This is all about deprivation, poor housing, poor diet, poor health – it’s all connected,” Strabane independent councillor, Paul Gallagher stated. “It’s about socio-economic inequalities which this area has suffered from for generations. The figures only epitomise our ongoing social deprivation and they show that something has to be done and done now. More than anything, we need more investment in health provision and health education.”
Derry City and Strabane District Council is one of just two Local Government Districts where life expectancy drops below the Northern Ireland average, the other being Belfast where it is 76.3 years and 81.1 for males and females respectively.
Cllr Gallagher explained, “Without intervention the decline in life expectancy is only going to continue, that’s what you would expect. But the fact that men and women from this area are expected to live shorter lives than people from others areas… that tells you all you need to know about the divide.”
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