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Open Access Research article

Incidence, patterns and severity of reported unintentional injuries in Pakistan for persons five years and older: results of the National Health Survey of Pakistan 1990–94

Zafar Fatmi1*, Wilbur C Hadden2, Junaid A Razzak3, Huma I Qureshi4, Adnan A Hyder5 and Gregory Pappas1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Community Health Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

2 Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, USA

3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

4 Pakistan Medical Research Council, Islamabad, Pakistan

5 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA

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BMC Public Health 2007, 7:152  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-152

Published: 10 July 2007

Abstract

Background

National level estimates of injuries are not readily available for developing countries. This study estimated the annual incidence, patterns and severity of unintentional injuries among persons over five years of age in Pakistan.

Methods

National Health Survey of Pakistan (NHSP 1990–94) is a nationally representative survey of the household. Through a two-stage stratified design, 18, 315 persons over 5 years of age were interviewed to estimate the overall annual incidence, patterns and severity of unintentional injuries for males and females in urban and rural areas over the preceding one year. Weighted estimates were computed adjusting for complex survey design using surveyfreq and surveylogistic option of SAS 9.1 software.

Results

The overall annual incidence of all unintentional injuries was 45.9 (CI: 39.3–52.5) per 1000 per year; 59.2 (CI: 49.2–69.2) and 33.2 (CI: 27.0–39.4) per 1000 per year among males and females over five years of age, respectively. An estimated 6.16 million unintentional injuries occur in Pakistan annually among persons over five years of age. Urban and rural injuries were 55.9 (95% CI: 48.1–63.7) and 41.2 (95% CI: 32.2–50.0) per 1000 per year, respectively. The annual incidence of injuries due to falls were 22.2 (95% CI: 18.0–26.4), poisoning 3.3 (95%CI: 0.5–6.1) and burn was 1.5 (95%CI: 0.9–2.1) per 1000 per year. The majority of injuries occurred at home 19.2 (95%CI: 16.0–22.4) or on the roads 17.0 (95%CI: 13.8–20.2). Road traffic/street, school and urban injuries were more likely to result in handicap.

Conclusion

There is high burden of unintentional injuries among persons over five years of age in Pakistan. These results are useful to plan further studies and prioritizing prevention programs on injuries nationally and other developing countries with similar situation.