Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 71-72
What's new in emergencies, trauma and shock? Studying the injury patterns in Nigeria

Department of Surgery, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria

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Date of Submission23-Jun-2013
Date of Acceptance26-Jun-2013
Date of Web Publication16-Apr-2014

How to cite this article:
Michael I N. What's new in emergencies, trauma and shock? Studying the injury patterns in Nigeria. J Emerg Trauma Shock 2014;7:71-2

How to cite this URL:
Michael I N. What's new in emergencies, trauma and shock? Studying the injury patterns in Nigeria. J Emerg Trauma Shock [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Jan 20];7:71-2. Available from:

Injury is a leading health problem in Nigeria as well as a leading cause of death and disability. Injury takes a major toll with its associated morbidity, disability, socio-economic losses and disability adjusted life year losses. [1] The epidemiology and pattern of injury in Nigeria consistently show road traffic accidents as the leading cause. Mortality rates as high as 79% have been reported in association with road traffic accidents where simple measures such as seat belt use were ignored. [2] Many road users are not properly licensed to operate the vehicles they drive. Violation of speed limits and neglect of road signs, as well as poorly designed and poorly maintained road networks contribute to the high incidence of road traffic accidents. The morbidity, mortality and economic losses resulting from injuries are largely preventable. The development of effective injury prevention efforts must however be hinged on reliable and detailed information on the incidence and pattern of injuries. This data is usually available from vital statistics registers and health care records in the developed countries of the world. In Nigeria, such records are not readily available. Furthermore, many injured victims do not attend orthodox medical facilities and many deaths are not reported. Hospital based data is thus best complemented with community derived data in sourcing information for focused national planning for injury prevention. [1]

The use of motorcycles for commercial in city transportation is attended with a high incidence of preventable injuries and death. [3],[4] Often adopted by some as a means of livelihood, the attendant morbidity, deaths and economic losses from a preponderance of motorcycle accidents mean that this practice must be reviewed and fortunately the last 24 months have seen a prohibition of the use of motorcycles for in city commercial transportation in several major cities in the country. Anecdotal reports on remarkable declines in injuries call for further analysis.

The recurrent communal clashes, insurgency and nascent terrorist activity have also compounded the situation with increasing complexity and severity of encountered injuries. Gunshot injuries are now commonly seen. [5]

A concerted effort is required to reduce this menace that threatens the whole population but mainly the young and active males who are often the breadwinners with many dependents. There is a need for intervention by initiation and sustenance of conflict management programs and protocols, as well as robust enhancement and improvement of legislation and regulation, with regard to practices on the roads and highways, to break the vicious cycle of poverty and ignorance, as well as ill-advised economic measures, intertwining to worsen the injury profile in Nigeria.

It has become pertinent to encourage the practice of developing detailed trauma registries to enhance surveillance and planning. The training of staff and provision of equipment to improve immediate and subsequent care of victims of trauma is also brought into focus.

   References Top

1.Olawale OA, Owoaje ET. Incidence and pattern of injuries among residents of a rural area in South-Western Nigeria: A community-based study. BMC Public Health 2007;7:246.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Ogundele OJ, Ifesanya AO, Adeyanju SA, Ogunlade SO. The impact of seat-belts in limiting the severity of injuries in patients presenting to a university hospital in the developing world. Niger Med J 2013;54:17-21.  Back to cited text no. 2
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3.Sangowawa AO, Owoaje ET, Ekanem SE, Faseru B, Adekunle BJ. Economic costs of motorcycle injury among crash-involved commercial motorcyclists in Oyo State, Nigeria. Afr J Med Med Sci 2011;40:385-91.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Adogu PO, Ilika AL, Asuzu AL. Predictors of road traffic accident, road traffic injury and death among commercial motorcyclists in an urban area of Nigeria. Niger J Med 2009;18:393-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Abbas AD, Bakari AA, Abba AM. Epidemiology of armed robbery-related gunshot injuries in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Niger J Clin Pract 2012;15:19-22.  Back to cited text no. 5
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Correspondence Address:
I Nnamonu Michael
Department of Surgery, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.130872

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