African Health Sciences

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Pedestrian traffic injuries among school children in Kawempe, Uganda

MT Nakitto, M Mutto, A Howard, R Lett


Background: Traffic injuries are an important problem in low income countries. In Uganda road traffic is the largest single cause of injury in Kampala; pedestrians, and children are most affected. Pedestrian injury affects school children in Uganda.
Objective: To determine the overall risk of pedestrian traffic injury among school children in Kawempe, Uganda.
Methods: A cohort was assembled at 35 primary schools and followed for 3 terms. Ten of the schools had participated in previous injury programs, others were systematically selected. Injuries were recorded by teachers using a questionnaire. Data collected
included ID, school, age, grade, gender, incident date, vehicle type, and injury outcome. Demographic characteristics are described and cumulative incidences calculated.
Results: The cohort included 8,165 children (49% male) from 35 primary schools. The mean age was 9 years (Sd=2.78). Of the 35 schools, 92% were day; the others mixed day and boarding. 53 children (27girls) were involved in a traffic incident. 25% of the injuries
reported were serious and warranted care in a health facility. No deaths occurred. Forty % of incidents involved commercial motorcycles, 41% bicycles, 9% cars, 8% taxis, and 2% trucks. The cumulative incidence was 0.168% each term. Over the 3 terms of
the year the cumulative incidence was 0.5 + 0.02. There were no gender differences in the cumulative incidence.
Conclusion: Each school year about ½ % of Kawempe school children are involved in a traffic incident. Interventions are necessary to reduce the unacceptably high incidents of pedestrian traffic. Interventions to alleviate this situation including safer routes, teaching
skills of road crossing to children as well as better regulation and road safety education to two wheelers could reduce the unacceptably high incidents of pedestrian traffic injury.

African Health Sciences Vol. 8 (3) 2008: pp. 156-159

AJOL African Journals Online