Severe road traffic injuries in Kenya, quality of care and access

Afr Health Sci. 2009 Jun;9(2):118-24.


Background: Road traffic injuries (RTI) are on increase in developing countries. Health care facilities are poorly equipped to provide the needed services.

Objective: Determine access and quality of care for RTI casualties in Kenya.

Design: Cross-sectional survey

Setting: 53 large and medium size private, faith-based and public hospitals.

Participants: In-patient road traffic crash casualties and health personnel in the selected hospitals were interviewed on availability of emergency care and resources. Onsite verification of status was undertaken.

Results: Out of 310 RTI casualties interviewed, 72.3%, 15.6% and 12.2% were in public, faith-based and private hospitals, respectively. Peak age of the injured was 15-49 years. First aid was availed to 16.0% of casualties. Unknown persons transported 76.5% of the injured. Police and ambulance vehicles transported 6.1% and 1.4%, respectively. 51.9% reached health facilities within 30 minutes of crash and medical care provided to 66.2% within one hour. 40.8% of recipient facilities were adequately prepared for RTI emergencies.

Conclusions: Most RTI casualties were young and from poor backgrounds. Training of motorists and general public in first aid should be considered in RTI control initiatives. Availability of basic trauma care medical supplies in public health facilities was highly deficient.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Hospital Costs
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Humans
  • Kenya
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*
  • Young Adult