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Developed nations have been conducting injury surveillance for many years, but it is still a relatively new endeavour in many parts of the developing world. In this issue's column, we draw your attention to several articles that describe injury epidemiology in some countries that have not previously been as well represented in the literature.
Researchers in Uganda examined one full year of data from a tertiary care hospital in the capital city of Kampala in order to estimate the current epidemiology of injuries. Not surprisingly, road traffic injuries were the most common causes for all age groups over the age of 5 years (49% of all injuries), and were responsible for most of the fatalities. In addition, passengers were injured more than drivers and this held true for both vehicle and motorcycle injuries. Uganda lacks a prehospital system; fewer than 5% of cases were brought to the hospital by ambulances, which are privately run and expensive. The analysis showed that students (20%) and casual labourers (17%) were the most common occupations listed, suggesting that poorer groups are more affected by injury, at least in this study. The authors call for prioritising the development of prehospital trauma care, and for diverting minor injuries to lower level care facilities so as not to overload the national hospital.
▶ Hsia RY, Ozgediz D, Mutto M, et al. Epidemiology of injuries …