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Road traffic injuries in Tanzanian children and adolescents: A cross-sectional household survey

Published:November 25, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.injury.2022.11.052

      Abstract

      Objective

      To measure annual rates of road traffic injuries (RTI) and to describe the characteristics of road traffic crashes experienced by children and adolescents in Tanga, Tanzania.

      Methods

      We conducted a cross-sectional household survey using geospatial population-weighted sampling in the city of Tanga in northern Tanzania. Data were collected in February and March of 2022. We report 12-month rates of road traffic crashes and RTI (reported by adult caregivers) among children and adolescents <18 years of age.

      Results

      A total of 2,794 adult respondents reported data on 6563 children and adolescents, among whom, 180 were reported to have experienced road traffic crashes in the past 12 months (crash incidence: 27.4 per 1,000 children, 95%CI 23.5-31.4) and 158 sustained injuries (RTI incidence: 24.1 per 1000 children, 95%CI 20.4-27.8). Almost a quarter of RTI (23%) were reported to be major (resulting in ≥30 days of missed activities). RTI was higher among adolescents (13-17 years) than children <5 years (21.5 vs. 14.1 per 1,000, p=0.039). Few children always or sometimes wore helmets when riding on motorcycles/motorbikes (12.8%) or wore safety restraints/seat belts in cars or other vehicles (11.9%).

      Conclusion

      The high rate of road traffic crashes and RTI observed among children and adolescents in a medium-sized city in Tanzania underscores the urgent need to improve road safety and increase use of safety equipment in low resource settings.

      Keywords

      Abbreviations:

      confidence intervals ((CI)), geospatial information system ((GIS)), interquartile range ((IQR)), Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys ((MICS)), primary sampling units ((PSU)), road traffic injuries ((RTI)), sub-Saharan Africa ((SSA)), Resource limited setting ((RLS)), World Health Organization ((WHO))
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