The high burden of injuries in South Africa

Norman, Rosana, Matzopoulos, Richard, Groenewald, Pam, & Bradshaw, Debbie (2007) The high burden of injuries in South Africa. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 85(9), pp. 695-702.

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Abstract

Objective

To estimate the magnitude and characteristics of the injury burden in South Africa within a global context.

Methods

The Actuarial Society of South Africa demographic and AIDS model (ASSA 2002) – calibrated to survey, census and adjusted vital registration data – was used to calculate the total number of deaths in 2000. Causes of death were determined from the National Injury Mortality Surveillance System profile. Injury death rates and years of life lost (YLL) were estimated using the Global Burden of Disease methodology. National years lived with disability (YLDs) were calculated by applying a ratio between YLLs and YLDs found in a local injury data source, the Cape Metropole Study. Mortality and disability-adjusted life years’ (DALYs) rates were compared with African and global estimates.

Findings

Interpersonal violence dominated the South African injury profile with age-standardized mortality rates at seven times the global rate. Injuries were the second-leading cause of loss of healthy life, accounting for 14.3% of all DALYs in South Africa in 2000. Road traffic injuries (RTIs) are the leading cause of injury in most regions of the world but South Africa has exceedingly high numbers – double the global rate.

Conclusion

Injuries are an important public health issue in South Africa. Social and economic determinants of violence, many a legacy of apartheid policies, must be addressed to reduce inequalities in society and build community cohesion. Multisectoral interventions to reduce traffic injuries are also needed. We highlight this heavy burden to stress the need for effective prevention programmes.

Impact and interest:

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90 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 80248
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: South Africa, burden of disease, injuries, homicide
DOI: 10.2471/BLT.06.037184
ISSN: 1564-0604
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 27 Jan 2015 00:12
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2015 02:51

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