StatsSA’s latest report on causes of death in South Africa shows slow continued declines in deaths due to communicable diseases like HIV but increases in deaths due to injuries and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Using data collected by the Department of Home Affairs through death registration, Statistics South Africa has found that deaths in the country continue to decline since 2007. According to the report, this decrease is linked to decreases in communicable diseases like tuberculosis (TB), influenza, pneumonia and intestinal infections particularly among women.
While still among the top ten causes of death in the country, HIV-attributable deaths continues to decrease slowly and comprised about three percent of deaths in 2010.
However, about 60 percent of South African TB patients are co-infected with HIV, and TB remains the leading cause of natural death in the country, according to the report.
The publication also notes that in recent years, there has been a modest increase in deaths due to NCDs. Among the ten leading causes of death, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and hypertension are on the rise.
Additionally, about nine percent of all deaths in 2011 were due to injuries. Finally, as South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy, the 125-page report also provides trends in mortality since 1997.