Dynamics of communicable diseases mortality in South Africa, 2000-2013

Eric Udjo


Context/Background: Communicable diseases dominate non-communicable diseases as causes of death in Africa. However, knowledge about their dynamics in the region is limited. This study examines the dynamics of communicable diseases mortality during the period 2000-2013 in South Africa. 

Data Sources and Methods: The data consisted of death records from South Africa’s death registration system utilizing International Classification of Diseases Revision 10 codes. The estimates included computing age standardized death rates and logistic regression of factors associated with communicable diseases deaths. 

Results: Communicable diseases’ deaths contributed at least a third to total deaths in South Africa in 2013.

Conclusion: Despite the roll out of free anti-retroviral therapy in public health facilities since 2004 and contrary to what some other researchers have argued, death rates from HIV/AIDS as underlying cause of death, increased during the period 2000-2013.


Communicable diseases, Epidemiological transition, HIV/AIDS, Mortality, South Africa, Standardized death rates

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11564/31-2-1044


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