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Epidemiology of Injuries in Nigeria—A Systematic review of Mortality and Etiology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 October 2011

Lateef O.A. Thanni*
Associate Professor/Consultant Surgeon, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital/Olabisi Onabanjo University, Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria
Correspondence: Lateef O.A. Thanni Department of Orthopaedics and TraumatologyOlabisi Onabanjo University Teaching HospitalOlabisi Onabanjo UniversityPMB 2022Sagamu 121001, Ogun State, Nigeria E-mail: HYPERLINK “”


Background: Trauma is a major health issue worldwide, but especially so in developing countries such as Nigeria, where no comprehensive, national, injury data exist. There is a need to better define the epidemiology of injury as a basis for formulation of violence and injury prevention strategy.

Methods: This is a systematic analysis of published data on the epidemiology of injuries.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to describe the prevalent causes of injury among adults and children, and the causes of injury mortality.

Results: The medical records of 15,694 patients from the age of two weeks to 95 years formed the analysed data set. The mean value of their ages was 27 ±13 years and the gender ratio (M:F) 2:1. The injury burden is 11.2/100,000 population. The prevalent causes of injury are: (1) road traffic crashes (RTCs) = 68.4 % of 9939 patients; (2) fall = 5.5%; (3) gunshot injury = 3.2%; and (4) burns = 2.4%. Among children, the leading causes are: (1) RTC = 33.9% of 2,199 patients; (2) fall = 29.1%; (3) foreign body related = 5.5%; (4) bites = 4.9%; and (5) burns = 4%. Mortality resulted mainly from head injury, 26.6% of 575, and hemorrhage 8.3%.

Conclusions: Road traffic incidents are the leading cause of injury among adults and children. Falls are six times more prevalent among children than for adults. Burns and firearm injuries are relatively uncommon. Injury mortality results mainly from head injury and hemorrhage.

Comprehensive Review
Copyright Thanni © World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2011

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