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, 52 (11), 1026-1031

Epidemiology of Fatal and Hospitalised Injuries Among Youth in Fiji (TRIP 15)


Epidemiology of Fatal and Hospitalised Injuries Among Youth in Fiji (TRIP 15)

Josephine Herman et al. J Paediatr Child Health.


Aim: To determine the burden and characteristics of fatal and hospitalised injuries among youth in Fiji.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the Fiji Injury Surveillance in Hospitals database - a prospective population-based trauma registry - to examine the incidence and epidemiological characteristics associated with injury-related deaths and hospital admissions among youth aged 15-24 years. The study base was Viti Levu, Fiji, during the 12-month period concluding on 30 September 2006.

Results: One in four injuries in the Fiji Injury Surveillance in Hospitals database occurred among youth (n = 515, incidence rate 400/100 000). Injury rates were higher among men, those aged 20-24 years compared with 15- to 19-year-olds, and indigenous Fijians (iTaukei) compared with Indians. The leading causes among indigenous Fijians were being hit by a person/object (men) and falls (women), whereas for Indians, it was road traffic injuries (men) and intentional poisoning (women). Most injuries occurred at home (39%) or on the road (22%). Of the 63 fatal events, 57% were intentional injuries, and most deaths (73%) occurred prior to hospitalisation. Homicide rates were four times higher among indigenous Fijians than Indians, whereas suicide rates were five times higher among Indians compared with indigenous Fijians.

Conclusions: Important ethnic-specific differences in the epidemiology of fatal and serious non-fatal injuries are apparent among youth in Fiji. Efforts to prevent the avoidable burden of injury among Fiji youth thus requires inter-sectoral cooperation that takes account of important sociocultural, environmental and health system factors such as unmet mental healthcare needs and effective pre-hospital trauma services.

Keywords: Pacific Island; accident; adolescent; developing country; wound and injury.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Fiji youth injury rates per 100 000 population, by cause, sex and ethnic group. (formula image), Hit by person or object; (formula image), fall; (formula image), road trafic injury; (formula image), poisoning; (formula image), stab/cut; (formula image), choking/hanging; (formula image), fire/heat/electricity; (formula image), drowning.

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