The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic was in part responsible for nearly 6,000 additional deaths recorded in Jamaica in 2021 when compared with 2020.
The information is contained in the 2021 edition of the Economic and Social Survey Jamaica (ESSJ) a publication of the Planning Institute of Jamaica.
According to the Survey, a total of 24,000 deaths were recorded in 2021 compared to the 18,100 that were recorded in 2020. The 32.6 per cent increase in deaths last year was attributed in part to COVID-19 “and related illnesses”.
The Survey outlined that as at December 31, COVID-19 deaths were 2, 476, accounting for 10.3 per cent of the total deaths that occurred in 2021.
“This contributed to an overall Crude Death Rate (CDR) of 8.8 per 1 000 population compared with the 6.6 per 1 000 population recorded the previous year,” the Survey said.
The CDR is the number of deaths in a year per 1 000 mid-year population.
“In addition to COVID-19, which is a communicable disease, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including cardiovascular disease, cancers and diabetes contributed to the increasing trend in the number of deaths that have occurred in the recent decade in Jamaica,” the survey added.
It said that for women, the three main causes of death with respect to NCDs in 2021 were diabetes mellitus, cerebrovascular diseases and hypertensive diseases. For men, the three predominant causes of death were external causes, cerebrovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus.
The Survey noted that due to the continued efforts of the Ministry of Health and Wellness to implement strategies to improve the healthcare system, there have been improvements in life expectancy and a steady decline in infant and under-five mortality.
Life expectancy remains unchanged, with the average life expectancy at birth being estimated at 74.2 years (70.4 for males and 78.0 for females).