Introduction Indigenous communities in Taiwan shoulder a disproportionate burden of unintentional injury fatalities. We compare unintentional injury mortality rate trends among Taiwan’s indigenous communities and the general population from 2002 to 2013, and evaluate potential impact of a community-based injury prevention programme on indigenous unintentional injury death rates.
Methods Standardised and crude unintentional injury mortality rates were obtained from Taiwan government reports. Segmented linear regression was used to estimate and compare unintentional injury mortality rate trends before and after the intervention.
Results Between 2002 and 2013, unintentional injury mortality rates among Taiwan’s indigenous population significantly declined by about 4.5 deaths per 100 000 each year (p<0.0001). During that time, the unintentional injury mortality rate ratio between indigenous Taiwanese and the general population significantly decreased by approximately 1% each successive year (p=0.02). However, we were unable to detect evidence that the ‘Healthy and Safe Tribe’ programme was associated with a statistically significant decrease in the unintentional injury mortality rate trend among indigenous persons (p=0.81).
Conclusion Taiwanese indigenous communities remain at significantly higher risk of unintentional injury death, though the gap may be slowly narrowing. We found no evidence that the ‘Healthy and Safe Tribe’ indigenous injury-prevention programme significantly contributed to the nationwide decline in unintentional injury mortality among indigenous Taiwanese communities from 2009 to 2013. Future interventions to address the disproportionate burden of unintentional injury fatalities among indigenous Taiwanese should consider interventions with wider coverage of the indigenous population, and complementing grass roots led community-based interventions with structural policy interventions as well.
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