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The importance of injury as a cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa: Results of a community-based study in Tanzania

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Whiting, Professor Nigel Unwin, Dr Philip Setel


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This paper describes rates and causes of injury deaths among community members in three districts of the United Republic of Tanzania. A population-based study was carried out in two rural district and one urban area in Tanzania. Deaths occurring in the study areas were monitored prospectively during a period of six years. Censuses were conducted annually in the rural areas and biannually in the urban area to determine the denominator populations. Cause-specific death rates and Years of Life Lost (YLL) due to injury were calculated for the three study areas. During a 6 year period (1992-1998), 5047 deaths were recorded in Dar es Salaam, 9339 in Hai District and 11 155 in Morogoro Rural District. Among all ages, deaths due to injuries accounted for 5% of all deaths in Dar es Salaam, 8% in Hai and 5% in Morogoro. The age-standardised injury death rates among men were approximately three times higher than among women in all study areas. Transport accidents were the commonest cause of mortality in all injury-related deaths in the three project areas, except for females in Hai District, where it ranked second after intentional self-harm. We conclude that injury deaths impose a considerable burden in Tanzania. Strategies should be strengthened in the prevention and control of avoidable premature deaths due to injuries.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Whiting DR; Unwin N; Setel PW; Moshiro C; Mswia R; Alberti KGMM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Public Health

Year: 2001

Volume: 115

Issue: 2

Pages: 96-102

ISSN (print): 0033-3506

ISSN (electronic): 1476-5616

Publisher: W.B. Saunders Co. Ltd.


DOI: 10.1016/S0033-3506(01)00426-7

PubMed id: 11406773


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