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The prevention and control of road traffic injuries in rural communities: input from community health workers in rural Twiserkan, Iran
  1. F Rezapur-Shahkolai*,
  2. M Naghavi,
  3. M Shokouhi,
  4. L Laflamme
  1. Correspondence Department of Public Health, School of Public Health and Center for Health Research, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan 65178/518, Iran

Abstract

Preventing road traffic injuries (RTIs) in rural areas poses particular challenges. This study highlights potential countermeasures and barriers as identified by health workers responsible for local community health and safety matters. The study enrolled the rural health workers of Twiserkan district (Iran), all of whom (n=nearly 100) were trained for the purpose of prospectively compiling data on any severe injury occurring in their catchment population over a 6-month period, proposing preventive measures and identifying potential barriers. The data collection ended with a questionnaire session covering similar issues but addressed in more general terms. The health workers emphasised the adoption of safe behaviour/practice as an important means for RTI prevention (90%), with a focus on motorcycle helmet use and compliance with traffic rules. Their suggestions covered the three Es education, engineering and enforcement. They saw their own contribution as being health and safety educators and promoters. The barriers they identified dealt with both individual and environmental factors. Health workers are in a good position to identify both a variety of context-relevant countermeasures for RTI control and prevention and potential barriers to their implementation and uptake.

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