Traumatic brain injury in Africa in 2050: a modeling study

Eur J Neurol. 2016 Feb;23(2):382-6. doi: 10.1111/ene.12877. Epub 2015 Oct 5.


Background and purpose: Our aim was to provide estimates of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 2050 for the African population by region, sex and age strata.

Methods: A literature search was performed in October 2014 in PubMed for population-based studies of TBI in different geographical locations. Articles were selected from Kenya (model 1), New Zealand (model 2) and the USA (model 3). In model 1, rates of road traffic injury in Kenya were used to estimate TBI rates in the African continent. Models 2 and 3 used existing TBI incidence estimates from other locations to estimate the burden of TBI for Africa in 2050. The 2050 African population, as projected by the United Nations, was used as a base population.

Results: Based on rates from model 1, the estimated total TBI count in Africa in 2050 is 5.98 ± 0.03 million, with the highest count in eastern (2.04 ± 0.01 million) and lowest count in southern (0.15 ± 0.00 million) Africa. A higher TBI count is predicted by models 2 (14.25 ± 0.75 million) and 3 (10.40 ± 0.02 million). Estimated TBI count is highest for males aged 15-34 (5.47 ± 0.55 million in model 2 and 3.21 ± 0.13 million in model 3).

Conclusions: Projected estimates of TBI in Africa are high, with a burden of anywhere between approximately 6 and 14 million new cases in 2050. This emphasizes the importance of developing accurate surveillance systems of TBI at a population level and public health measures to mitigate the risk and burden of TBI.

Keywords: acute brain injury; adolescent; adult; epidemiology.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Aged
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult