Over 800K deaths reported in 2021, the highest for the country so far – POPCOM
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu — The Philippines recorded a total of 879,429 deaths in 2021, the highest for the country in a single year.
The report, which the Philippine Statistics Authority released on August 13, 2022, showed that there were at least 2,700 deaths in a day then, the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) said.
POPCOM in its report quoted Juan Antonio Perez III, MD, POPCOM’s executive director and Undersecretary for Population and Development, as saying that the country’s health system was “severely challenged” last year; thus, “its recovery requires more resources in the immediate future.”
The number of deaths in 2021, the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, was higher by 265,493 as compared to the 613,936 that were reported in 2020 when the pandemic started.
The POPCOM report said that September 2021 had the most number of deaths which totalled to 119,758.
“Almost 4,000 Filipinos died every day that month (3,992), and almost three every minute (2.7),” it said.
However, not all of these deaths were due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it added.
Perez said 159,770 of these deaths were “unrelated to COVID-19.”
He said these were caused by other diseases like ischemic heart disease or heart attacks – up by 29.7 percent, cerebrovascular disease or strokes – up by 15.3 percent, diabetes mellitus – up by 21 percent, and hypertensive disease or hypertension – up by 31.5 percent.
Deaths due to malnutrition also increased by 47 percent. On the other hand, those triggered by neoplasms, or various forms of cancers, were down 10.3 percent, Perez said.
“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,” he added.
“On the other hand, the decrease in cancer-related deaths was most likely due to the lack of tertiary level of diagnostic and therapeutic care, as ‘COVID’ cases crowded out actual and undiagnosed cancer patients.”
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