More than 626,000 children under the age of 15 die each year due to injuries, with more than 95% of those fatalities occurring in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).  In sub-Saharan Africa, injuries are especially high and result in approximately 43 deaths per 100,000 children each year. Yet despite this high burden of pediatric injury, there is little data to explain the epidemiology of injury in LMICs. And without proper understanding of the etiology of injuries, researchers cannot adequately address the risk factors for injury and implement injury prevention interventions.

Recently, members of the JH-IIRU team, including  trauma specialist Hadley K. Herbert, associate directors Kent A. Stevens and Abdulgafoor M. Bachani and director, Adnan A. Hyder, along with their colleagues at Childsafe South Africa and Red Cross War Memorial Hospital in Cape Town and the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center’s Department of Surgery, address this issue in “Patterns of Pediatric Injury in South Africa: An Analysis of Hospital Data Between 1997-2006,” published in the Journal of Trauma. The paper looks at the patterns of childhood injuries using hospital-based surveillance system in Cape Town, South Africa.

The results indicated that, between 1997-2006, more than 62,000 children presented to the Trauma Unit of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital’s (RCH) Casualty Department with almost 69,000 injuries. The majority of injured were males and injuries included falls, road traffic injuries, burns and assaults.

To read more, you can access the paper
here.

To find out more about the JH-IIRU’s work on childhood injuries, email us at IIRU@jhsph.edu