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Public Health. 2001 Mar;115(2):96-102.

The importance of injury as a cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa: results of a community-based study in Tanzania.

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Adult Morbidity and Mortality Project, Ministry of Health, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


This paper describes rates and causes of injury deaths among community members in three districts of the United Republic of Tanzania. A population-based study was carried out in two rural districts and one urban area in Tanzania. Deaths occurring in the study areas were monitored prospectively during a period of six years. Censuses were conducted annually in the rural areas and biannually in the urban area to determine the denominator populations. Cause-specific death rates and Years of Life Lost (YLL) due to injury were calculated for the three study areas. During a 6 year period (1992-1998), 5047 deaths were recorded in Dar es Salaam, 9339 in Hai District and 11 155 in Morogoro Rural District. Among all ages, deaths due to injuries accounted for 5% of all deaths in Dar es Salaam, 8% in Hai and 5% in Morogoro. The age-standardised injury death rates among men were approximately three times higher than among women in all study areas. Transport accidents were the commonest cause of mortality in all injury-related deaths in the three project areas, except for females in Hai District, where it ranked second after intentional self-harm. We conclude that injury deaths impose a considerable burden in Tanzania. Strategies should be strengthened in the prevention and control of avoidable premature deaths due to injuries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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