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Malnutrition a leading cause of child deaths

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Malnutrition and interpersonal violence are also prominent causes of death in certain age groups

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INTERESTING statistics have emerged regarding the causes of death in the Kimberley (Frances Baard) area which shows that while HIV/Aids remains the the leading cause of deaths in this area, malnutrition and interpersonal violence are also prominent causes of death in certain age groups.

According to the District Health Barometer 2016/17 for the Frances Baard area, for the period 2010 to 2015, protein-energy malnutrition was the cause of 8.2% of deaths in girls under the age of five years and 9.1% of boys.

HIV/Aids was the leading cause of death in 10.7% of girls in this age group and 8.9% of boys.

Among children in the age group 5 to 14 years, the leading cause of death among girls was HIV/Aids (21.8%), while among boys, the leading cause of death was drowning at 31.4%.

Road injuries was also among the top three causes of deaths for both boys and girls, accounting for 20.3% of deaths among girls and 15.3% of deaths among boys.

Tuberculosis was the second highest cause of death among girls (21.3%) and fourth highest among boys (7.5%).

In the next age group, 15 to 24 years, the leading cause of death among males was interpersonal violence (a whopping 32.9% of deaths), while among women it was HIV/Aids (32%) and tuberculosis (23.2%).

Among males the second highest cause of deaths was road injuries (9.9%), followed by accidental threats to breathing.

Self-inflicted injuries was the cause of 2.2% of deaths in both males and females in this age group.

Fires and hot substances was also among the top 10 leading causes of deaths among males (4.1% of deaths).

In the 25 to 54 year old age group, HIV/Aids was the leading cause of death for women (26.2%) as well as men (20.5%), followed by tuberculosis (14% for women and 16.3% for men).

In men, road injuries (3.3%) and interpersonal violence (3.3%) were also listed among the top 10 causes of deaths.

For women in this age group, the other top 10 causes of deaths were lower respiratory infections (6.2%), cerebrovascular disease (5.8%), ischaemic heart disease (3.3%), hypertensive heart disease (2.9%), diabetes mellitus (2.9%), diarrhoeal diseases (2.7%), cervix (2.5%) and nephritis (2.4%).

Among men it was lower respiratory infections (6.5%), cerebrovascular disease (4.3%), ischaemic heart disease (3.7%), COPD (2.9%), accidental threats to breathing (2.8%) and trachea/bronchi/lung (2.6%).

Older people (65 plus) died mostly form cerebrovascular disease (18% for women and 11.1% for men) and ischaemic heart disease (11.3% for women and the leading cause of death among men in this age group at 13%).

Among women, hypertensive heart disease accounted for almost 10% (9.8%) of deaths, while among men the incidence was far lower at 4.7%. More men died from prostate in this age group at 6.1%.

Diabetes mellitus was one of the leading causes of death among women (6%), although for men this only accounted for 4% of deaths.

Breast diseases accounted for 2.3% of deaths among women.

Among both men and women across all ages, HIV/Aids was the leading cause of death (35%), followed by tuberculosis (18.9%), lower respiratory infections (6.9%) and diarrhoeal diseases (3.2%).