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Epidemiology of soccer-related injuries among male high school players in Kigali, Rwanda
Soccer in Rwandan high schools can expose players to the risk of injury warranting prevention programmes. The aim of this study was to determine the type, causes, severity and management of injuries among high school soccer players in Rwanda, in order to obtain baseline data for injury prevention programmes. A cross-sectional study was used to obtain the relevant information. A total of 360 high school soccer players were targetted. Data for soccer players were gathered, using a validated closed-ended questionnaire. Information was obtained from the players during training sessions at the schools after informed consent was obtained. The soccer players were all males aged 11 to 26 years, with a mean age of 16.8 years (SD= 3.4). The study revealed a 75% injury prevalence, with a significantly high rate of injuries occurring during competiton (p< 0.05). The lower extremities accounted for 78% of all injuries sustained, and most of the injuries were not severe. Management of injuries was poor. The epidemiology and risk factors of soccer-related injuries among Rwandan high school soccer players demonstrates the need for urgent implementation of prevention programmes. There is a clear need for education as part of the injury prevention and mangement programmes.