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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Incidence and pattern of injuries among residents of a rural area in South-Western Nigeria: a community-based study

Omoniyi A Olawale* and Eme T Owoaje

Author Affiliations

Department of Community Medicine, University College Hospital, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

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BMC Public Health 2007, 7:246  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-246

Published: 17 September 2007



Despite the high incidence of infectious diseases in developing countries, injuries still contribute significantly to the health burden. There are few reports of rural, community-based injury surveys in Nigeria. This study describes the incidence and pattern of injuries among the residents of a rural area in South-Western Nigeria.


It was a community based cross-sectional study. Two of six census areas were randomly selected and all households in the two areas visited. Information on the sociodemographic characteristics, individual injury events and outcomes was obtained with a questionnaire. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 11.


Information was obtained on the 1,766 persons in 395 households. Fifty-nine injuries were recorded by 54 people, giving an injury incidence of 100 per 1,000 per year (95% CI = 91.4–106.9). Injury incidence among <30 years was 81.6 per 1,000 per year (95% CI = 62.3–83.1); and 126 per 1,000 per year (95% CI = 98.2–137.4) for those ≥ 30 years (p = 0.013). Injury incidence for females was 46 per 1,000 per year; and 159 per 1,000 per year (p = 0.000) for males. A significantly higher proportion of males (5%) sustained injury compared to females (2%) (p = 0.043). Falls and traffic injures, 15 (25%) each, were the leading causes of injury; followed by cuts/stabs 12 (21%), and blunt injuries, 9 (15%). Traffic injuries were the leading cause of injuries in all age groups except among the 5–14 years where falls were the leading cause of injury. In thirty-four (58%) of those injuries, treatment was at a hospital/health centre; while in two (3%), treatment was by untrained traditional practitioners. Thirty-nine (66%) of the injuries were fully recovered from, and 19 (32%) resulted in disability. There were 2 fatalities in the 5-year period, one (2%) within the study period.


Injuries were common in Igbo-Ora, though resultant disability and fatality were low. Males and those aged ≥ 30 years had significantly higher proportions of the injured. Falls and traffic injuries were the most commonly reported injuries. Appropriate interventions to reduce the occurrences of injuries should be instituted by the local authorities. There is also need to educate the community members on how to prevent injuries.