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Evaluation of an intervention to reduce child injury in Bedouin communities in Southern Israel

Abstract

Background Child injury is particularly prevalent in low socioeconomic populations and minorities. In Israel, Bedouin children exhibit high rates of injuries and death. A multifaceted community intervention to reduce injury in children in and around the home was run in nine Bedouin communities in Southern Israel during 2014–2018. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of the intervention on injuries among children aged 0–4 by comparing emergency room (ER) visits and hospitalisations before and after the intervention.

Methods Child injury data (ages 0–4, 5–17) for 2013–2018 were obtained from Soroka Medical Center, including ER visits and hospitalisations. Further data on reason for hospitalisation and injury severity score (ISS) were obtained from the National Centre for Trauma Research for 2011–2018. Reach was assessed by calculating the per cent of participants from the total relevant population in each town. Poisson regression was used to assess change over time, from preintervention (2013) to postintervention (2018).

Results A high proportion of educational institutions took part in the intervention, and around 20% of relevant households received a home visit (n=6334). There was a significant reduction in ER visits (7.6%) in children aged 0–4 in 2018 compared with 2013. Hospitalisations did not decrease significantly, although the number of admissions for burns and falls was reduced significantly at follow-up.

Conclusions This multifaceted intervention programme resulted in reduced injury in children aged 0–4 years in the Bedouin community. The use of simultaneous multiple intervention methods was effective in increasing child safety.

  • child
  • behaviour change
  • public health
  • longitudinal
  • programme evaluation
  • rural

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