Background Refugees are prone to increased risks of injury frequency and severity. In this study, we systematically quantified the prevalence of injuries and burns among refugees in Lebanon and examined injury characteristics, risk factors and outcomes.
Method We conducted a cluster-based population survey across 21 refugee camps in Lebanon from February to April 2019. We used a modified SOSAS tool to record refugees’ injuries sustained in the last 12 months. We performed descriptive and multivariate regression analyses to understand the association between variables.
Results of the 1,500 refugees interviewed, 33% sustained an injury, of which 30% were occupational injuries. Injuries caused 12% of refugees’ reported deaths. Almost 18.1% of refugees (N=136) suffered from burns and 14.8% (N=111) suffered from other injuries (i.e. road traffic, assault). Most burns were sustained by children and caused by boiling liquid (N= 61, 49.6%), heat contact (N= 38, 30.9%) and open flame (N= 17, 13.8%). Injuries mainly affected extremities (43%, p<0.001) compared to head/face (26%, p<0.001), and occurred on the road (29%) and in the field (4%). Burns was more frequent to face (34%, p<0.001) compared to abdomen (17%, p<0.001) and occurred mostly inside the tent (31%). Male gender, illiteracy and occupation were associated with increased injuries (p<0.05). Almost 31.4% of injured suffered long term disability, and 6.8% required help with mobility.
Conclusion Refugees suffer from a high burden of injury with human and economic repercussions. These findings will guide the allocation of healthcare resources and the design of refugee injury prevention programs and policies.
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