Advisor to the Ministry of Health Discusses Mortality Rate of St. Kitts And Nevis

The content originally appeared on: ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation

Basseterre, St. Kitts, Nov 13, 2023 (ZIZ Newsroom): Advisor to the Ministry of Health, Dr. Patrick Martin engaged with the media on Friday(November 10, 2023)  to make a presentation on the mortality rate of St. Kitts and Nevis.

During his presentation, Dr. Martin first provided the definition of excess deaths.

Advisor to the Ministry of Health, Dr. Patrick Martin

“This is the definition of excess deaths or mortality, as we say in epidemiology, so the term used to refer to the number of deaths from all causes during a crisis above and beyond what you’d normally expect in normal conditions.  So, for example, 2019 was before COVID, let’s say you had 100 deaths and then during COVID, you went up to 300, 400 is excess deaths. It was a crisis. So, the formula is excess equals what you observe or report minus what is expected.”

Dr. Martin outlined that the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in excess deaths in the Federation.

He also stated that although the pandemic has ended, the excess deaths in the Federation continue.

Using data he has gathered, Dr. Martin showed the slight uptick in death that continued after the pandemic.

SKN Mortality Rate 2010-2019SKN Mortality Rate from 2016-2022

“Between 2010 and 2019, an average of 375 deaths per year, ranging from 340 in 2012 to 413 in 2014. Also, at JNF, the average yearly death number is 130.  That’s again 2010 to 2019, ranging from 102 in 2019 to 144 in 2016, with a death rate of 4%. St. Kitts Nevis deaths in 2020 had 377 deaths, 454 deaths in 2021, and 462 deaths in 2022.”

He added that the COVID-19 pandemic caused 46 deaths in the Federation however the data shows that there were deaths at a rate of 200 which means deaths in the Federation were being caused by other illnesses and means.

Dr. Martin outlined the three leading causes of death in St. Kitts and Nevis.

“The leading causes of death in St Kitts and Nevis are cardiovascular- heart and blood vessel problems, the second is neoplasms or cancer, it’s about 20% and the third category are complications due to diabetes.”

He added that these non-communicable diseases account for two out of three deaths in the Federation.

In responding to the media on the question of mitigation of these illnesses, Dr. Martin stated that making healthy choices more affordable could assist.