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The global availability of data for estimating the burden of injuries
  1. J P Abraham*,
  2. K Bartolomeos,
  3. K Bhalla,
  4. J Harrison
  1. Correspondence Department of Global Health & Population, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, 718 Huntington Ave, 1st Floor Boston, MA 02115, USA

Abstract

Reliable estimates of the burden of injuries are essential inputs for prioritising prevention strategies. While population-based injury surveillance is the best source for such information, it is recognised that these systems do not exist in many countries. Thus, we conducted an environmental scan of data sources that can be used to estimate the incidence of fatal and non-fatal injuries. This data hunt focused on both fatal and non-fatal data from a variety of sources including: mortuaries, hospitals, community-based surveys, civil/vital registration systems, etc. Strategies for identifying these data sources included non-systematic Internet searches of government websites and various databases, informal review of both published and unpublished literature and seeking input from the injury and public health communities for leads to additional data sources. We classified the data sources identified into three categories: mortality, hospital or survey data and then summarised according to global regions. Next we assessed the quality of data in each region, focusing on completeness, coverage, and quality of cause attribution in these data sources. Hence we present a map of the global availability of data sources for estimating the incidence of injuries. We find that while national vital registration systems are scarce in most of Africa and Asia, there are a multitude of other data sources, such as DSS sites and health surveys. In general, we find that there is a multitude of data sources available for such work even in countries traditionally considered to be information-poor.

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