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Intentional injuries among Ugandan youth: a trauma registry analysis
  1. Milton Mutto1,3,
  2. Ronald Lett2,
  3. Stephen Lawoko3,
  4. Catherine Nansamba3,
  5. Leif Svanstrom3
  1. 1Pincer Group International Ltd, Kampala, Uganda
  2. 2Canadian Network for International Surgery, Vancouver, Canada
  3. 3Karolinska Institutet, Department of Public Health Sciences, Social Medicine, Stockholm, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Milton Mutto, Pincer Group International, Plot 46, Bukoto Street, Kamwokya, PO Box 72455, Kampala, Uganda; mmutto{at}


Purpose To determine intentional injury burden, incident characteristics, and outcomes among Ugandan youth.

Methods A cross sectional analysis of trauma registry data from accident and emergency units of five regional referral hospitals was conducted. Data had been prospectively collected from all patients accessing injury care at the five sites between July 2004 and June 2005: youth records were analysed.

Results Intentional injuries among youth victims, especially school-age males, are common in all five regions, constituting 7.3% of their injury burden with a male dominance. Intentional youth victimisation mainly occurred at home, on roads, and in public places; incidents were largely due to blunt force, stabs/cuts, and gunshots in general, although variations in causes were evident depending on age. Intentional injuries among the youth victims often manifested as head, neck, and face injuries: 2% were severe and there were 4%case fatalities at 2 weeks.

Conclusions and recommendations Intentional injuries among youth victims, especially school-age males, are important contributors of injury burden in all five sites. Homes, roads, and public places are unsafe for Ugandan youth. Although guns were used in all five sites, less lethal mechanisms (blunt force, stabs/cuts, and burns) are the most common with variations between locations. Incidents involving teenage housewives could reflect underlying problem of domestic violence. Community based studies could be highly informative. Youth should be prioritised for prevention of injuries both in and out of school.

  • Youth
  • intentional injury
  • trauma registry
  • Uganda
  • adolescent
  • violence
  • youth violence, injury outcomes, Uganda

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  • Funding The study on which this manuscript is based was funded by the Government of Uganda in 2004/05 using a World Bank facility under the 10 year Country Road Sector Improvement Program at the Ministry of Works.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This paper is part of the dissemination of ongoing injury surveillance that was set up in 1996 with approval from Mulago Hospital.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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