Magnitude and risk factors of injuries in Khartoum state
Injuries have a profound impact on both the individual and society as a whole. A new article from the Centre for International Health reports incidence rates, causes and risk factors for non-fatal injuries in the context of Khartoum state in Sudan, with the aim to assist in developing evidence-based prevention programs.
Sally El Tayeb, Safa Abdalla, Odd Mørkve, Ivar Heuch and Graziella Van den Bergh.
International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, May 2013
A need for developing injury prevention programs
Although studies have shown that injuries in the future will contribute the largest increase in disability adjusted life years (DALYs), injury prevention is marginalized and not given priority in Sudan today. The Sudan Household Health Survey (SHHS) has made steps towards addressing this problem by including an injury model, but there has so far not been a systematic study of incidence and risk factors related to non-fatal injuries. This article explores the major risk factors related to injuries through a cross-sectional survey. The injury data was collected retrospectively from October to November 2010, and the total number of individuals included was 5661, residing in 973 households.
What are the major risk factors?
The survey showed an overall injury incidence rate of 82.0/1000 person-years-at-risk. The three leading causes were falls, mechanical forces (cuts, stabs, struck by object etc.) and road traffic crashes. Males had a significantly higher risk of being injured in both urban and rural areas, and low socio-economic status was a risk factor for injuries in urban areas. The level of education was associated with injury rates only in the rural areas. The distribution of causes differed between males and females; while females reported burns as an important cause, violence was important in males. The home and street/highway were identified as the most common places for injuries, where many of the injuries occurred during sports/leisure/play.
Further development and measures
The article shows the magnitude of injuries in a local Sudanese context, and clarifies the need for structured injury prevention efforts. One effort could be to invest in a safe home environment, with home safety awareness campaigns in the community. It is also essential to take into consideration the need for safe areas for sports and leisure when planning the living environment.