Health: SA ranks lowest of Brics members

2012-07-30 21:57

Johannesburg - South Africa fares worse on health than the residents of any other Brics country, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Monday.

On aggregate, standard health indicators show South Africa is worse than Brazil, Russia, India and China, he said in Winterton in KwaZulu-Natal.

The average South African was expected to live until 54, while the Chinese could live to the age of 74, Brazilians to 73, Russians 68, and Indians 65.

Infant mortality in South Africa stood at 43 deaths per 1 000 live births, and 62 children out of every 1 000 would not make it to their fifth birthday.

Only India had worse figures, at 50 and 66 deaths per 1 000 respectively.

By comparison, Brazil and China had an infant mortality rate of 17 deaths per 1 000 live births, and Russia of 11 deaths per 1 000.

Only 12 out every 1 000 Russians would not live to see their fifth birthday.

Maternal mortality ratios and adult mortality rates made for bleak reading. According to Motsoaledi's presentation, on average 410 South African mothers out of 100 000 died during pregnancy or childbirth.

In India that figure was 230, in Brazil 58, in Russia 39, and 38 in China.

According to Motsoaledi's figures, 521 out of every 1 000 South African men aged 15 to 59 die before turning 60.

In China, that figure was 142, Brazil 205 and India 250. Russia came closest to South Africa at 391.

Motsoaledi said the number of people who died annually in South Africa almost doubled between 1997 and 2006, going from 317 131 to 612 462.

Many of South Africa's dire mortality statistics could be attributed to communicable diseases, especially HIV and tuberculosis.

Compared to its Brics partners, South Africa had the worst figures.

Only Brazil spent more than South Africa's 8.5% of gross domestic product on health.

South Africa fared fairly well in curbing smoking.

Russia, China, and India all had greater percentages of tobacco smoking in men older than 15 than South Africa's 29.5%.

In Russia, 70.1% of men over the age of 15 were smokers.

Brazil had the best figures, with only 19.4% of men smoking.

Most of the health indicator figures quoted by Motsoaledi were the most recent available and were for 2010.

  • husaberg.twostroke - 2012-07-30 22:19

    Why dont the anc do sometihing about it. I mean your health is more important than anything else.

      Shilly Maelane - 2012-07-30 22:43

      That's coz "government" officials in this country don't go to "government" hospitals when they're sick... So they have no clue what's really going on - nor do they care!!!

      Erna - 2012-07-30 23:24

      They don't know what to do. They think that their NHI will solve all the problems but they can't handle the current system let alone an extended medical service.

      basimogashoa - 2012-11-05 13:12

      Why the ANC? Why don't you firstly do something about it? Should simple things such as taking care of yourself, your health and making a habit of teaching the ones around you to do the same be placed upon the ruling party? Are you freaken serious? Really??? And by the way, I oppose the ANC, but this is a load of wax. Your health is your responsibility. Dig it?

  • Madeleine Abrahams - 2012-07-30 22:32

    Would love to see the comparison done with US

      pisciotta - 2012-09-07 14:53

      US does not have the highest life expectancy but then we absorb so many people from other lands which may skew the numbers. I was born in America (3rd generation). I went to our US Social Security WWW site and used their Life-Span planning program. My score was 82 years.

  • Adil Smit - 2012-07-30 22:37

    The high number of adult males dying in South Africa compared to the other countries because of traumatic deaths - stabbings, gunshots etc?

      pisciotta - 2012-09-07 14:55

      I belive it is AIDS and other commuicable diseases.

  • tommo.too - 2012-07-30 22:45

    So South Africa spends more on health than the other Bric countries, yet we have by far the worst health sector. The only explanation is complete incompetence, corruption and mismanagement on a grand scale. But the ANC show no shame at all

      wesley.nel.5 - 2012-07-31 02:08

      It is not to saybthey spend the most, remember we have die tenda process. If a tenda is R5 mil, only R1 mil will go towards health, ther rest is a kick back

  • stfaith.esau - 2012-07-30 23:01

    Increased Infant Maternal mortality rates in SA is directly related to low socio-economic circumstances,Education of the young women to delay reproduction when physically ready to take responsibilty to bear children.Then the health MDGoals might be reached.

      carpejugulim - 2012-07-31 08:03

      A wonderful concept to contemplate but it will not become a reality until the mindset of "the govt pays us to be pregnant and have children" changes. Here we have a culture of children bearing children to get a govt grant

      pisciotta - 2012-09-07 14:57

      Perhaps if the government stopped funding children women would not use pregnancy as an "occupation"

  • zolisa.dlokovu - 2012-07-31 05:38

    A sad story

  • derrico.heus - 2012-07-31 07:07

    When you have a government filled with ministers that think only of themselves, and are really not very smart, its no wonder this country is rated so badly. The average anc minister is pretty dumb. Its time they went.they truly are dreadful and incapable of governing.

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-07-31 07:12

    The minister should ask himself why is this so, as his government has allowed the situation and health care which includes hospitals to slide back into disrepair and moral decay. Unless qualified and ethical persons are appointed I do not believe much will be achieved.

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-07-31 07:24

    I can tell you for sure that if this Survey was done in the Black communities only the figures would be far more atrocious. That sector is neglected beyond belief.

  • Pridie Makoya Mnguni - 2012-07-31 07:26

    Road accidents kill more than HIV/AIDS in SA annually

      denise.ryan.5203 - 2012-07-31 09:03

      @Pridie - .... and your point is? ...SA has more AIDS-victims than taxpayers now ....AIDS is killing so many politicians in southern Africa that their deaths are threatening the ability of governments and local authorities to function properly. Local-level leadership of the ruling party of South Africa -- the ANC - now are dying by the tens of thousands each month of AIDS. Most of the deaths occurred among councillors younger than 51... How can we possibly expect to build capacity in politics if the people who should lead will die before the age of 50?

  • jason.ugolini - 2012-08-12 10:37

    Why am I not surprised this article is written by a South African F#$%^er

  • frikkie.vanrooyen.5 - 2012-09-07 18:12

    what an idiot!! the low life-expectancy in SA is mainly due to the extremely high incidence of HIV in SA; not the fault of the health-system or apartheid. Blaming apartheid for everything is moronic - face the facts and do something about it!

  • basimogashoa - 2012-11-05 13:15

    South Africa needs a wake up call!

  • Quartus van Zyl - 2013-03-21 11:45

    A clear indication that SA is a failed country

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