This statistical release presents information on mortality and causes of death in South Africa for deaths that occurred in 2010. It also provides information on death occurrences from 1997 to 2009 to show trends in mortality and causes of death. It is based on data collected through the South African civil registration system that is maintained by the Department of Home Affairs. The information on causes of death provided is as recorded on death notification forms completed by medical practitioners and other certifying officials.
Almost two decades after the end of apartheid, inequality still shapes every facet of life in South Africa. A child in the poorest 20% of households is 17 times more likely to experience hunger than a child in the richest 20% of households (South African Human Rights Commission, UNICEF, 2011). In 2010, 35% of all children lived below the ultra-poverty line (R290 per month1); this rises to 60% of all children who lived below the lower poverty line (R575 per month) (Hall, 2012). South Africa is also home to the highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS—over 5.6 million (UNAIDS, 2012). The HIV/AIDS crisis has weakened family structures and accelerated the demand for social services.
A Rapid Mortality Surveillance (RMS) system was established to monitor the trend in the number of deaths recorded on the national population register at a time when there was a substantial time lag in the cause-of-death reports being produced by Stats SA. This report presents an analysis of the RMS data and provides empirical estimates of the mortality-based high-level indicators for Outputs 1 and 2 of the health-related outcomes of the NSDA to highlight the significant changes in mortality currently taking place in South Africa. By adjusting for known bias in the RMS data, it is possible to provide information about these key indicators two years sooner than the published vital registration data.
The 2012 Progress Report on Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed examines trends in child mortality estimates since 1990, and shows that major reductions have been made in under-five mortality rates in all regions and diverse countries. This has translated into a sharp drop in the estimated number of under-five deaths worldwide. Data released today by UNICEF and the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation show that the number of children under the age of five dying globally fell from nearly 12 million in 1990 to an estimated 6.9 million in 2011.
Globally, the total number of maternal deaths decreased by from 543 000 in 1990 to 287 000 in 2010. Likewise, the global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) declined from 400 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births in 1990 to 210 in 2010, representing an average annual decline of 3.1 per cent.
Essential Interventions, Commodities and Guidelines for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
A global review of the key interventions related to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child Health
Why reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health?
Poor maternal, newborn and child health remains a significant problem in developing countries. Worldwide, 358 000 women die during pregnancy and childbirth every year and an estimated 7.6 million children die under the age of five. The majority of maternal deaths occur during or immediately after childbirth. The common medical causes for maternal death include bleeding, high blood pressure, prolonged and obstructed labour, infections and unsafe abortions.
The number of children under five years of age dying each year declined from more than 12 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010, UNICEF and the World Health Organization said after releasing the latest estimates on worldwide child mortality.
These new figures show that compared to 1990, around 12,000 more children’s lives are saved each day.
The annual report on child mortality found that in sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the highest number of under-five deaths in the world, the speed at which the under-five mortality rate is declining doubled from 1.2 per cent a year during 1990-2000 to 2.4 per cent a year during 2000-2010.