The burden of injuries in Ethiopia from 1990-2017: evidence from the global burden of disease study

Inj Epidemiol. 2020 Dec 21;7(1):67. doi: 10.1186/s40621-020-00292-9.


Background: Mortality caused by injuries is increasing and becoming a significant global public health concern. Limited evidence from Ethiopia on road traffic, unintentional and intentional injuries indicate the potential public health impact of problems resulting from such injuries. However, there is a significant evidence gap about the actual national burden of all injuries in Ethiopia. This data base study aimed to reveal the national burden of different injuries in Ethiopia.

Methodology: Data for this study were extracted from the estimates of the Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) 2017 study. Estimates of metrics such as Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs), death rates, incidence, and prevalence were extracted. The metrics were then examined at different injury types, socio-demographic categories such as age groups and sex. Trends of the metrics were also explored for these categories across years from 2007 to 2017. The DALYs and deaths due to injuries in Ethiopia were also compared with other East African countries (specifically Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia) in order to evaluate regional differences across years, by sex and by different injury types such as transport injuries, unintentional injuries, self-harm and interpersonal violence.

Results: The age-standardized injury death rate has decreased to 69.4; 95% UI: (63.0-76.9) from 90.11; 95% UI: (82.41-97.73) in 2017 as compared with 2007. Road injury, falls, self-harm and interpersonal violence were the leading causes of mortality from injuries occurring in 2017. The age-standardized injury DALYs rate has decreased to 3328.2; 95% UI: (2981.7-3707.8) from 4265.55; 95% UI: (3898.11-4673.64) in 2017 as compared with 2007. The number of deaths resulting from injuries in 2017 was highest for males, children under 5 years, people aged 15-24.

Conclusion: The current age-standardized death rate and DALYs from injuries is high and the observed annual reduction is not satisfactory. There is a difference in gender and age regarding the number of deaths resulting from injuries. The data indicates that the current national efforts to address the public health impact of injuries in Ethiopia are not sufficient enough to bring a marked reduction. As a result, a more holistic approach to address all injuries is recommended in Ethiopia.

Keywords: DALYs; Deaths; EPHI; Ethiopia; Falls; Road injury; Self-harm; Violence.

Publication types

  • Review