Road traffic injuries (RTIs) are a leading cause of death and disability in Africa. With a rate of 28.3 fatalities per 100,000 population, it’s the highest in the world. What’s more, the economic cost of RTIs on the continent is estimated to be 1-2% of the gross national product. Despite these high numbers, there is little data available on prevention and treatment strategies.  This is true for the central African country of Cameroon, where the number of road traffic deaths has been steadily increasing since the 1970s.

Recently, in an effort to examine road traffic injuries JH-IIRU team members published “Road Traffic Injuries in Yaoundé, Cameroon: A hospital-based pilot surveillance study,” in the journal Injury. The paper looked at patients injured in RTIs who sought care at the main referral hospital in Yaoundé to determine not only the characteristics of those injured but also to identify the associations between these characteristics and outcomes which could be used to improve treatment in Cameroon as well as  other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The study provides valuable information about RTIs which the team hopes can be used to improve emergency care in Cameroon and other LMICs and highlights the importance of RTI prevention.

The team included JH-IIRU associate director, Kent Stevens and director Adnan Hyder, and colleagues from WHO Africa, the Ministry of Public Health in Yaoundé, as well as the Department of Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco.  Catherine Juillard, currently in the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, was a post-doctoral fellow in JH-IIRU when this study was conducted.

This study is part of the unit’s ongoing global work on trauma care.

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