In 2010, Thailand’s estimated 26 312 deaths from road traffic injuries (RTI) ensured it the third highest mortality rate country at 38.1 per 1 00 000 population according to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013.
WHO uses a modelling method to estimate the mortality rates based on reported statistics of each country. In Thailand, the number of deaths from RTI in 2010 as reported from the Ministry of Interior’s civil registration system with cause of death verification by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) was 13,365; equivalent to mortality rates of 19.3 per 1 00 000 population.
This two-fold mortality discrepancy alarmed related organizations in Thailand. The National Road Safety Directing Center‘s Data and Evaluation Sub-Committee delegated Working Group on Road Traffic Accident Data Management, Analysis and Reporting System Development to determine the number of RTI deaths from all available sources. The working group comprised technical experts from MoPH, National Institute Emergency Medical Service, Ministry of Transport, Royal Thai Police (RTP), and the Road Accident Victims Protection Company (RVP). They jointly reviewed 12 road safety-related databases and subsequently selected three: 1) Civil registration system 2) RTP’s Police Information System, and 3) RVP’s insurance system.
Data from the selected databases were cleaned and matched using a protocol containing six variables: identification number, first and last name, sex, province and date of death. a Microsoft Access database system was created using Visual Basic for Applications and Structured Query Language to perform the matching procedure (available at www.RSISthai.net). Using this tool, the number of deaths from RTI between 2011–2013 were 22,745, 22 284 and 21 814 corresponding to mortality rates of 35.4, 34.5, and 33.9 per 1 00 000 population, respectively.
This innovative method to consolidate available data can enhance the completeness and accuracy of RTI deaths thus providing better evidence-based information for policy makers.
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