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Prevalence and risk factors for road traffic injuries and mortalities in Ethiopia: systematic review and meta-analysis


Background Road traffic injuries, which are responsible for premature deaths and functional losses, are the leading causes of unintentional injuries in Ethiopia. As most studies on road traffic injuries, so far, have been either local or regional, it is believed that combining the regional or local data to get nationally representative information could help programme implementers in setting priorities.

Objective The aim of this review was to estimate the proportion of road traffic injuries, mortality and risk factors for the problem among all age groups in Ethiopia.

Data sources A systematic review of articles using MEDLINE/PubMed SCOPUS Web of Science and science direct was conducted. Additional studies were identified via manual search.

Study selection Only studies that reported road traffic injuries and/or mortalities for all age groups were included in this review.

Data synthesis All pooled analyses were based on random-effect models. Twenty-six studies for the prevalence of RTIs (n=37 424), 24 studies for road traffic injuries (RTI) mortality, (n=38 888), 9 studies for prevalence of fracture among RTIs (n=2817) and 5 studies for the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (n=1733) met our inclusion criteria. Driving in the dark increased severity of injury by 1.77, 95% CI 1.60 to 1.95). The certainty of the evidence was assessed using GRADEpro Guideline Development Tool.

Conclusion In this review, the burden of road traffic injuries and mortalities remains high in Ethiopia. Human factors are the most common causes of the problem in Ethiopia. The existing safety regulations should be re-evaluated and supported by continuous behavioural interventions.

PROSPERO registration number CRD42019124406.

  • metanalysis
  • systematic review
  • mortality
  • public health

Data availability statement

Data are available upon request.

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