DOH welcomes 'significant' COVID-19 drop among top causes of death in Philippines

Raffy Cabristante, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 25 2023 05:16 PM

The Department of Health (DOH) office in Manila. April 21, 2014. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file
The Department of Health (DOH) office in Manila. April 21, 2014. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday welcomed a recent Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report where COVID-19 had a "significant" drop among the top causes of death of Filipinos in 2022.

According to the PSA report, COVID-19 was on the 11th spot of the leading causes of death in the Philippines, with lifestyle-related diseases such as heart disease, cerebrovascular diseases, and diabetes topping the list.

DOH officer-in-charge Ma. Rosario Vergeire noted COVID-19's drop in the list, as it landed on the third spot in 2021 during the height of the pandemic.

This, she said, was an indicator that the country's healthcare system managed to prevent further deaths from the coronavirus.

"Kapag napupunta doon sa top ten leading causes of death, marami ang namamatay dahil sa sakit na iyan... naging pang-11 na lang siya. And that signifies na kakaunti na lang ang namamatay from COVID-19 dito sa ating bansa and we are able to prevent already further deaths because of this disease," Vergeire told reporters in a media forum Wednesday.

She further noted that all five top causes of death in the Philippines were non-communicable diseases, a trend that was observable before the onset of the pandemic.

Because of this, Vergeire said the DOH is now strengthening its programs promoting healthy behaviors and lifestyles.

"Kaya po tayo ngayon, very strong ang program ang kagawaran ng kalusugan sa ating healthy behaviors and healthy lifestyle para maturuan natin ang ating mga kababayan para ma-prevent at ma-avoid natin ang ganitong mga klaseng preventable naman na puwedeng ikamatay ng ating mga kababayan," she said.

According to the PSA report, COVID-19 accounted for 3.3 percent of the total number of registered deaths in the Philippines between January and September 2022, landing on the 11th spot.

Registered deaths from COVID-19 with the virus not identified, meanwhile, was on the 19th place, accounting for one percent of the total deaths in the country.

The PSA still considered COVID-19 as among the country's 20 leading causes of death.

Ischaemic heart disease, also known as coronary heart disease, was named the top cause of death in the Philippines, with 18.5 percent of registered deaths (77,173 cases) attributed to it.

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