Road traffic crashes (RTC) cause significant premature morbidity, mortality and disability globally. The burden is estimated to be higher in low and middle income countries, where surveillance is inadequate and data incomplete. We aimed to describe the burden of fatal RTC in Kenya to inform improvement in road traffic injury surveillance in the country.
We used publicly available data from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA). The NTSA is the organization mandated to collect road crash data and implement road safety policies in Kenya. Data collected daily for 2017 was combined into a single dataset, cleaned using Microsoft Excel, and analyzed using Epi Info software, version 7.1. We generated descriptive statistics and compared the overall fatalities in 2017 with 2016. We used mid-year estimated population for 2016 and 2017 to calculate mortality ratios.
Total fatalities in 2017 were 2893; 36% were pedestrians, 27% vehicular passengers, 11% drivers, 17% motorcyclists, 7% pillion passengers and 2% pedal cyclists. Of these, 938 (32.4%) had at least one demographic detail recorded. Mean age of victims was 35.7 years (±16.7 years), 68.3% (308 out of 451 with age recorded) were aged 40 years and below, while 87.0% (773/889) were male. Nairobi, Kiambu and Machakos Counties had the highest proportion of fatalities with 15.8%, 8.1% and 6.0% respectively. The mortality ratio for 2017 was 5.8 per 1 00 000 compared to 6.1 per 1 00 000 population in 2016 (p=0.85). The monthly distribution of fatalities had three peaks; March, July-August and December. Most fatalities were recorded between 1800 hours and 0100 hours.
Burden of RTC fatalities remains unchanged in Kenya despite efforts by NTSA to address the problem, especially among young males. A comprehensive RTC surveillance system with better data completeness is necessary to effectively monitor public health impact of RTC in Kenya and institute measures.
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