Manila, Sept. 7 — More than 879,000 Filipinos died in 2021, the year which the Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) described as the deadliest in Philippine history.
Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III, PopCom executive director, said a total of 879,429 deaths were reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) last year and this translated to around 2,700 deaths daily in 2021.
Quoting its own observation and analysis over the years, Perez said there were only one to five percent increase in mortality rate in normal years but in 2021, the increase ballooned to 43 percent compared to 2020.
Translated into figure, the reported death in 2021 is 265,493 higher than in 2020 which recorded a total of 613,936 deaths.
Perez said that it was in September which had the most number of deaths in 2021 when a total of 119,758 Filipinos perished-which means that 3,992 Filipinos died daily in that month or almost three deaths per minute.
Deaths And The Covid factor
Since the first Covid-19 case was reported in the country, there have been a total of 146,137 deaths reported as a result of the deadly virus.
In 2020, there were 30,188 Covid-related deaths reported in the country. In 2021, it ballooned to a total of 105,723.
From January 1 to May 21 in 2022, a total of 10,226 Covid-related deaths were already reported.
Perez said Covid-19 is indeed a major factor in the excess mortalities in the country in 2021.
Meanwhile, deaths due to malnutrition also increased by 47 percent.
Poor health care system
Even before Covid-19 started claiming lives in the country, the PopCom has already noted a high excess mortalities due to health-related matters.
Among them are heart attacks, cerebrovascular disease or referred to as strokes, diabetes and hypertension.
Perez explained that these illnesses are among the top causes of deaths in the country over the years.
If deaths related to these illnesses are combined, the PopCom said it accounted for a total of 159,770 deaths in 2021.
Perez said they also recorded an increase in the mortality rate for the four diseases in 2021- 29.7 percent high for heart attack in 2021 compared to 2020, 15.3 percent increase for strokes, 21 percent increase for diabetes and 31.5 percent increase for hypertension.
“Many of the diseases that caused increased mortality are preventable at the primary level of care, but the health system was not flexible enough to treat and care for both COVID and non-COVID patients,” said Perez.
Since the Philippine health health system remains severely challenged in 2021, Perez said there is a need for more resources to address the problem of mortality in the country.
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