How does the life expectancy of the average Ukrainian compare with the world average - or that of any other country?  To find out, check out this brilliant World Bank web-site.  All you have to do is to click on "world" or on the country of your choice in the list on the left-hand side and you can compare developments in life expectancy between different countries and/or the world average to your heart's content.

One of many reasons why the data are interesting is that they that life expectancy in Ukraine, at 68.3 years in 2008, was hardly changed from 1960.  The same is true of many CIS countries, including Russia.  By comparison, many other countries (and the world average) have shown a steady improvement over that period. 

One of the ways in which life expectancy and health quality can be improved is through better medical treatment.  So I'm delighted to host at the reception a presentation by AstraZeneca, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with a major presence in the UK, of two new corporate social responsibility programmes aimed at improving diagnosis of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and at improving diagnosis rates for prostate cancer.  In addition to senior management from AstraZeneca, the event is attended by a host of Ukrainian healthcare professionals clearly enthused by the new programmes.  At present, diagnosis rates for both asthma/COPD and prostate cancer are well below those in the rest of Europe and an increase in the rate of diagnosis could save thousands of lives and lead to better life expectancy.

Life sciences in the UK is a world leading sector with over 3500 medical technology and bio technology companies generating a turnover over £15 billion and pharmaceutical exports approaching £20 billion.  If some of that know-how can help push Ukraine's graph on the website upwards over the next few years, that would be a win-win.
Leigh Turner
British Ambassador to Ukraine

NOTE:  You can read all of Ambassador Turner's blogs by visiting: 

Ukrayinska Dumka


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