Background The Injury & Accidents Prevention Program (IAPP) of Saudi Health Ministry designed an Injury Surveillance System with the aim to gather regular ongoing information for prevention and control of injuries and efficient use of resources. World Health Organisation, Ministry of Interior, Traffic Police, Saudi Red Crescent and other partners were involved during the process.
Method This system was piloted in selected health regions, involving a multistage stratified random sample. In first stage, half of 20 health regions were selected, followed by random selection of 14 health facilities, stratified by sub-sector and facility level health. Two physicians were trained from each selected health facility on the predesigned tool and procedures; they collected the data and regularly transferred to IAPP through Regional Coordinators, for entry and analysis.
Results Seven health regions reported 10008 injuries including 74.5 % males (mean age 23.3 ± 15.9); mostly (81%) 35 years or less. About 76% injury cases were unintentional and 35% occurred at home followed by workplace (20%) and roads (19%). Less than 5% of the injuries were severe in nature and 25% moderate; mainly occurred due to falls (31%), blunt force (20%) and traffic crashes (15%). Injuries mainly resulted into closed wounds (44%), open wounds (29%) and fractures (14%).
Discussion Pilot was intended to test the system and identify procedures that could be improved before scaling up; at this stage the cases do not represent total injuries reporting to health facilities. Implementing the surveillance system across the Kingdom would be challenging, but will generate useful information for decision making.
Conclusion The pilot identified efficiency of the surveillance system and its capacity to capture injury cases reporting to health facilities, but necessitates including paramedics for workload distribution; and requires more ownership form regional offices.
- health facilities
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