Implementing a hospital based injury surveillance system in Africa: lessons learned

Zavalaa, Diego E; Bokongo S; JSIM; MRMOWAIA; E. "Implementing a hospital based injury surveillance system in Africa: lessons learned.". 2008.


A multinational injury surveillance pilot project was carried out in five African countries in the first half of 2007 (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia). Hospitals were selected in each country and a uniform methodology was applied in all sites, including an injury surveillance questionnaire designed by a joint programme of the Pan American Health Organization and the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. A total of 4207 injury cases were registered in all hospitals. More than half of all injury cases were due to road traffic accidents (58.3%) and 40% were due to interpersonal violence. Self-inflicted injuries were minimal (1.2% of all cases). This report provides an assessment of the implementation of the project and a preliminary comparison between the five African countries on the context in which inter-personal injury cases occurred. Strengths and weaknesses of the project as well as opportunities and threats identified by medical personnel are summarized and discussed. A call is made to transform this pilot project into a sustainable public health strategy.

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