TB Is SA's Killer Number One: Stats SA

South Africans are not dying as much as they used to. That’s according to the report released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on the mortality and causes of death in the country on Tuesday.

The report covers all the deaths in the country recorded by the Home Affairs Department in 2013. The report shows that over 450 000 people died last year, a decline from the 491 000 in 2012. 

Tuberculosis remains the number one killer in the country with 8.8% of people dying of Tuberculosis’ last year. While TB is the number one killer in the country, it’s not as predominant in a few provinces.

Results show that most deaths in Limpopo are due to Influenza while most people die of Diabetes in the Western Cape. Influenza and pneumonia is second, while HIV and AIDS has moved from the sixth spot in 2012 to being the third killer disease in 2013.

Statistician-General, Pali Lehohla says: “So, this is how the shift has occurred in terms of the causes of death. You can also see TB and Influenza have retained their status as number one killers and the other ones like cerebral has shifted to fourth position with diabetes keeping its status as number four as the cause of death.” 

HIV and AIDS related diseases continue to claim most lives in the Northern Cape, despite being the province with the lowest population. Lehohla says the increase in the rank of of HIV and AIDS from the sixth to the third spot doesn’t necessarily mean more people are dying because of it.

“The evidence in terms of longevity points to a different direction. Fewer people are dying and we know that more people are dying because of the co-infection of HIV/Aids. Now it can’t be that HIV/Aids death. There is something that happened in the reporting regime that made it number three. And that’s what we are trying to disintegrate here so that you understand what the situation is here,” says Lehohla.

Lehohla also says there is a continuous rise in deaths due to Diabetes, which is slowly on its way to becoming a predominant killer.