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Patterns of Road Traffic Injuries and Associated Factors among School-aged Children in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

LM Museru
MT Leshabari
NAA Mbembati


A study was conducted to describe the pattern of road traffic injuries and associated factors among schoolaged children attending public hospitals in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, between May and October 1999. The study included all children younger than 18 years, and data were collected using a structured interview guide. This article is based on an analysis of 286 children who sustained road traffic injuries out of a total of 1886 children presenting with various injuries during the study period. Almost 52% of these children were in primary school, with the most common age group between 5 and 9 years. A large majority of the children came from the poorer socio-economic residential areas of the city. Almost one-third of the victims and 36% of guardians were unaware of safer ways of walking on the road. Parents or guardians perceived the risk of road traffic injuries as low, with one-third thinking that they were not a major problem in their community. Similarly, two-thirds of guardians thought that collisions to children could not be prevented. This study demonstrates that road traffic injuries are a major problem among school-aged children in Dar es Salaam. Furthermore, the study reveals that there is significant ignorance about safe road usage among the parents or guardians of injured children, and that the majority of them think that collisions are not preventable.

African Safety Promotion Vol.1(1) 2002: 37-41