Background 90% of the global burden of injuries is borne by low-income-and-middle-income-countries (LMICs). However, details of the injury burden in LMICs are less clear because of the scarcity of population-based data.
Objective This paper describes a population-based injury assessment methodology, and the epidemiological findings from applying the methodology to a census of 1.2 million people in rural Bangladesh.
Methods The census was implemented in 51 unions from 7 purposively sampled rural sub-districts of Bangladesh in 2013. Population-based questionnaires were designed and used to collect data on injury mortality and morbidity via face-to-face interviews. Other injury data, including the external cause, intent, location, and anatomic description of the injured body part, were collected along with socio-demographic information. The data was analyzed for descriptive measures, and fatal and non-fatal outcomes.
Findings Injury mortality rate was 38 deaths per 1 00 000 populations per year, and 1 04 703 people sustained major non-fatal injuries over a six-month recall period, for a population of 1,169,593 individuals. Drowning was the leading cause of injury death for all ages, and falls caused most number of non-fatal injuries. Both fatal and non-fatal injury rates were highest among children 1–4 years. Males suffered more fatal and non-fatal injuries than females across all external causes except for burns. Suicide was the leading cause of injury deaths among those 15–24 years, and over 50% of the suicides occurred in females. The home environment was the commonest location for most injuries.
Conclusion The burden of injuries in Bangladesh is substantial, accounting for 61 180 deaths and 29 million major non-fatal events annually. Targeted approaches for addressing drowning among children, falls among the elderly, and suicide among young female adults are urgently needed to reduce the injury burden in Bangladesh. Large-scale population-based studies can yield more accurate details of the extent of injuries in LMICs.
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