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Risk Factors for Injuries in Landslide- and Flood-Affected Populations in Uganda

  • Shreya Agrawal (a1), Tisha Gopalakrishnan (a1), Yuri Gorokhovich (a2) and Shannon Doocy (a1)

The frequency of occurrence of natural disasters has increased over the past several decades, which necessitates a better understanding of human vulnerability, particularly in low-resource settings. This paper assesses risk factors for injury in the March 2010 floods and landslides in Eastern Uganda, and compares the effects of location, injury type, and severity.


A stratified cluster survey of the disaster-affected populations was conducted five months after onset of the disasters. Probability proportional to size sampling was used to sample 800 households, including 400 affected by floods in Butaleja District and 400 affected by landslides in Bududa District.


Flood- and landslide-affected populations were surveyed in July 2010 using a stratified cluster design. The odds of injury were 65% higher in the flood-affected groups than the landslide-affected groups in a logistic regression (OR = 0.35; 95% CI, 0.24-0.52; P < .001). The injury rate was greater in individuals under 42 years of age, and location of injury was a contributing factor. More people were injured in the flood-affected population as compared with the landslide-affected population, and injuries were more severe.


This study illustrates differences between populations injured by flood and landslide disasters that occurred simultaneously in Eastern Uganda in 2010. In areas where landslides are prone to occur due to massive rainfalls or floods, preventative measures, such as early warning systems and evacuation, are more likely to increase the likelihood of people surviving, while for areas with massive floods, immediate and effective medical attention can save lives and improve injury outcomes.

AgrawalS, GopalakrishnanT, GorokhovichY, DoocyS. Risk Factors for Injuries in Landslide- and Flood-Affected Populations in Uganda. Prehosp Disast Med. 2013;28(4):1-9.

Corresponding author
Correspondence: Shannon Doocy, PhD Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 615 N. Wolfe St., Suite E8132 Baltimore, Maryland 21230 USA E-mail
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1. D Alexander . The study of natural disasters, 1977–1997: some reflections on a changing field of knowledge. Disasters. 1997;21(4):284-304.

3. R Pielke , S Agrawala , L Bouwer . Clarifying the attribution of recent disaster losses: a response to Epstein and McCarthy. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 2005;86:1481-1484.

13. T Bich , L Quang , T Ha le , T Hanh , D Guha-Sapir . Impacts of floods on health: epidemiologic evidence from Hanoi, Vietnam. Global Health Action. 2011;4:6356.

14. C Sanches , L Tze-San , S Young , D Batts , J Benjamin , J Malilay . Risk factors for mortality during the 2002 landslide in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia. Disasters. 2009;33(4):705-720.

S Agrawal , T Gopalakrishnan , Y Gorokhovich , S Doocy . Risk factors for injuries in landslide- and flood-affected populations in Uganda. Prehosp Disast Med. 2013;28(4):1-9

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Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
  • ISSN: 1049-023X
  • EISSN: 1945-1938
  • URL: /core/journals/prehospital-and-disaster-medicine
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