Country Listing

Singapore Table of Contents


Mortality and Morbidity

The major causes of death in 1986 were heart disease, accounting for 24 percent of all deaths; cancer, 23 percent; cerebrovascular disease, (stroke) 11 percent; and pneumonia, 8 percent. In 1988 two minor outbreaks of dengue fever took place but were halted through prompt control of arthropod-borne microorganisms, and a minor cholera epidemic broke out among the inmates of a mental institution. In 1982 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Singapore malaria-free, and 161 of the 165 cases of malaria reported in 1987 were determined to be imported. In 1987 the most serious epidemic disease was hepatitis; 752 cases of acute viral hepatitis and 11 deaths were reported. Noise-induced deafness and industrial-related skin disease the major occupational diseases; there was also some concern over exposure of workers to toxic and carcinogenic substances and to asbestos. The health authorities paid special attention to patients with kidney failure, a condition that which killed some 200 people a year. The number of deaths reflected inadequate dialysis facilities and a shortage of organ donors. The 1987 Human Organ Transplant Law gave doctors the right to remove the kidneys of those killed in accidents unless the victim had objected in writing or was a Muslim.

Data as of December 1989