Road traffic injuries in urban Africa and Asia: a policy gap in child and adolescent health

Public Health. 2008 Oct;122(10):1104-10. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2007.12.014. Epub 2008 Jul 1.


Objective: This study highlights the burden of urban road traffic injuries (RTIs) in children and young adults in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa to heighten awareness of current limitations in child health policies, and to direct future research and intervention development.

Methods: Comparative analysis of recent Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia reviews of RTIs, World Health Organization (WHO) Global Burden of Disease statistics, and the Bangladesh Health and Injury Survey.

Participants: Children aged 0-18 years in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa reviews, aged 0-14 years in the WHO data, and aged 1-17 years in the Bangladeshi data.

Results: Child pedestrians comprise the largest proportion of urban RTI victims. More healthy life years were lost per 1000 children aged 0-18 years in South Asia than Sub-Saharan Africa. Disability-adjusted life years lost per 1000 children aged 0-14 years was greater in Africa than South-east Asia. South-east Asia has the greatest overall incidence of RTIs; however, Africa has poorer reported outcomes for children aged 0-14 years.

Conclusion: These data sources point to the salience of intervening in RTIs in children to prevent a predicted boom in the RTI burden in children, particularly in the poorest regions of the world. However, child health policies in these regions have not yet embraced RTI, either in research or programmes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Public Policy*
  • Survival
  • Urban Population*
  • Wounds and Injuries* / mortality