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Effective interventions for unintentional injuries: a systematic review and mortality impact assessment among the poorest billion

The Lancet | Andres I Vecino-Ortiz, PhD, Aisha Jafri, PhD, Prof Adnan A Hyder, PhD

As a result of the rapid wave of urbanisation, demo-graphic and nutritional transitions, economic growth, and technological change, the epidemiological profile of most countries has been moving from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases and injuries. However, while the global burden of injuries has decreased by 31% in the past 20 years, the injury burden due to road injuries and falls in sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia has increased by 10–50%, showing how improvements in the injury burden have not been equitably distributed. Specifically, unintentional injuries are a growing concern. Deaths caused by unintentional injuries comprise 10% of all deaths in low-income and middle-income countries, compared with intentional injuries that cause 3% of all deaths in these countries.

In low-income and middle-income countries, efforts to generate a regulatory and societal response to unintentional injuries, and to strengthen safety infrastructure often lag behind an accelerated development rate, leading to an increased risk of injury. High-income countries followed the same process decades ago, but with smaller populations than low-income and middle-income countries have nowadays, and with less complex systems than are in development now; hence, it is much more complex initiating effective interventions in these resource-limited settings. Read More