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951 Challenges in improving data systems of road traffic injuries in Sri Lanka
  1. Inoka Eranganie Weerasinghe1,2,
  2. Andrea Gielen1
  1. 1Johns Hopkins Centrefor Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
  2. 2Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka


Background Road traffic injuries (RTI) are increasing in low and middle income countries, as twice the risk as the developed countries. This study aims to 1) review national RTI data sources in Sri Lanka, for their strengths and weaknesses and to identify gaps, that if addressed could help improve RTI data systems in Sri Lanka; and 2) summarise the published studies on RTI in Sri Lanka to make recommendations on RTI programs, policies, and research.

Methods A comprehensive review of published articles and grey literature was done together with an analysis of existing data sources. Electronic searches were performed (updated as December 2015) using Pubmed and Google database using specific key words related to RTI. Only studies that included data pertaining to Sri Lanka were selected. Full text articles were then reviewed using the same inclusion criteria, and references from included articles were scanned to find additional relevant articles.

Results RTI rate and the RTI death rate in 2010 was 130.0 and 13.2 per 100,000 population respectively in Sri Lanka. There is a 19% increase in RTI rate from 2006 to 2010 in Sri Lanka. The main RTI data sources in Sri Lanka are Sri Lanka traffic police, National death registration system, National transport board and Ministry of Health indoor morbidity and mortality reports. Each existing data system has its own strengths and weaknesses. There are gaps in the existing data systems including limited coverage, underreporting, overlapping, lack of injury surveillance system and even lack of data pertaining to financial burden, risk factors and disability. Despite some studies with limited population locally, overall country statistics or interventions have not been fully assessed.

Conclusions Limited availability of important reliable data on RTI in Sri Lanka is an issue. Standardisation of data systems with intersystem connexions covering the country is recommended in order to be comparable internationally.

  • road traffic injuries
  • Sri Lanka
  • injury epidemiology
  • injury data

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