Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Estimating the burden of injury in urban and rural Sudan in 2008
  1. Safa Abdalla1,
  2. Suad Ahmed2,
  3. Zeinab Swareldahab3,
  4. Kavi Bhalla4
  5. on behalf of the Sudan Burden of Injury Team
    1. 1Sudan Health Consultancy, Dublin, Ireland
    2. 2Sudan Federal Ministry of Health, Khartoum, Sudan
    3. 3Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan
    4. 4Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    1. Correspondence to Dr Safa Abdalla, Sudan Health Consultancy, 7 Appleby Grove, Solihull B90 4SG, UK; drsafa{at}


    Background Sudan has been undergoing demographic and social changes that could have a tangible impact on population injury rates. However, reliable estimates of injury epidemiology are lacking. We aimed to estimate injury incidence and mortality in urban and rural Sudan, using existing data sources.

    Methods We used the 2008 national census mortality data with mortuary data to construct unintentional and intentional injury mortality estimates in urban and rural areas. We estimated incidence of non-fatal injuries using the Sudan Household Health Survey 2010. Uncertainty analysis was carried out to construct 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) for the final estimates.

    Findings Overall injury death rate was estimated at 109 (95% UI 83–142) per 100 000 per year, 94 (66–129) per 100 000 in urban populations and 117 (95% UI 86–157) per 100 000 in rural populations. Injuries accounted for 12% of all male deaths and 6% of all female deaths, but more than half of the deaths among young men aged 20–34 years. Urban injury rates were higher among males but lower among females than rural injury rates. Road traffic injuries were the major cause of fatal injury in urban Sudan, but other causes accounted for the majority of non-fatal injuries nationally.

    Conclusions Road traffic injuries should remain a priority for the country but better data are needed for rural Sudan. To that end, investment in existing data collection systems is essential. Our method can be applied in other countries with a similar data availability pattern.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


    • Collaborators Jerry Abraham, Jamal Yousuf. In addition to the listed authors, the Sudan burden of injury team included Dr Jerry Abraham, Harvard University, US and Dr Jamal Yousuf, Omdurman mortuary, Sudan.

    • Contributors SA and KB conceived the study and designed the analysis methods. SA, SAT, ZS, KB and JA participated in identification and acquisition of data. JY compiled Omdurman mortuary data. SA analysed the data and drafted the manuscript. All listed authors reviewed the manuscript and approved the submission.

    • Funding Kavi Bhalla and Jerry Abraham were supported by a grant from the World Bank Global Road Safety Facility to Harvard University and Safa Abdalla received travel support from the Public Health Institute—Sudan.

    • Competing interests None declared.

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

    • Data sharing statement The Sudan Household Health Survey 2010 dataset is available for request from Sudan's Central Bureau of Statistics.