Silent killers: NCDs fueling increased mortality in Zim’s elderly

Source: Silent killers: NCDs fueling increased mortality in Zim’s elderly – #Asakhe – CITE

The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) has flagged an increase in mortality rates among the elderly—55 years and beyond—due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

They warn that failing to address this issue could lead to a further increase in the next 20 years.

This concern was highlighted in the latest population projection report issued by ZIMSTAT. The report compiled data from the 2012 to 2022 population censuses and used it to calculate the best estimates for setting mortality assumptions.

ZIMSTAT emphasized that accurate mortality assumptions are crucial for population projections. They help estimate future population size and age structure by considering the population’s longevity.

“Age-Specific Mortality Rates vary by age group and provide assumptions about how mortality rates change across all age groups. Recent analysis revealed a notable increase in mortality rates among older age groups, primarily attributed to non-communicable diseases,” the report read.

“This trend has led to a gradual shift in the age distribution of deaths, with a larger proportion occurring among the elderly. Such changes necessitate a re-evaluation of mortality assumptions in population projections. It is essential to consider the rising prevalence of NCDs and their impact on longevity to ensure that projections accurately reflect the potential implications for healthcare systems and social services.”

ZIMSTAT also discussed historical data on causes of death, medical advancements, and public health interventions to determine future mortality trends.

“Improved healthcare, nutrition, and maternal care, driven by the government’s mandate to fulfill national, regional, and international goals, contribute to the projected decrease in infant and child deaths by 30 percent. Furthermore, advances in child health programs, vaccinations, and disease prevention will project better survival rates for children,” the report stated.

“Adult mortality is assumed to decrease by only 10 percent in the next 20 years due to high-risk behaviors, such as substance abuse, reckless driving, or dangerous recreational activities. Additionally, workplace accidents play a role. Occupational hazards, inadequate safety measures, and exposure to harmful substances can lead to fatalities.”