Some statistics are just so counter-intuitive that you have to blink and look twice when first you come across them. Try this. In 2020, the year that the worldwide pandemic swept in to Kenya, fewer Kenyans died and those that lived were safer and more secure. That’s what the official surveys show.
Data in the Economic Survey 2021 reveal that the number of registered deaths in Kenya was the lowest for five years. 184,185 deaths were registered in the year, down from 19,495 in 2019, with 53.4 percent of those deaths occurring in health facilities.
Fewer Kenyans died but fewer were born as well. Registered births were down from 1.19 million in 2019 to 1.14 million in 2020.
Major Causes of Death
The major cause of death in Kenya in 2020 was respiratory disease, with 16.5 million cases in health facilities across the country. This of course would make one think that Covi-19 added greatly to this figure but it’s not that simple. The figures for death by respiratory disease were in fact down from the 21.9 million recorded in 2019.
Other leading causes of death in Kenya in 2019 were:
• Malaria 11.4 million
• Diseases of the skin 4.2 million
• Diarrhoea 2.4 million
• Urinary tract infections 2.4 million
• Pneumonia 1.5 million
• Road accidents 247,252 (down from 480,993 in 2019)
Crime Figures Lowest Since 2008
There was also a flip side to the Covid-19 pandemic in Kenya. Curfews and restrictions brought in to curb the spread of the virus helped reduce the number of crime recorded in 2020 by 25.4 percent to 69, 245 cases from 93,411 in 2019. The crime figures for 2020 make it the safest year for Kenyans since 2008. TAGS