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Admissions for physical violence in Chingola –Zambia.

D D Mugala
D Imataa


Background: Violence is a social disease that plagues all societies. Each society has its own form of violence. No doubt Chingola which is a growing mining town of over 200,000 people has its own pattern of violence and here is presented the pattern of physical violence in our town. This was a prospective study aimed at studying the prevalence and pattern of serious physical violence in Chingola.

Methods: All patients who presented to Nchanga North Hospital and were admitted after violence were included in the study. Those patients who visited the hospital’s OPD as a result of violence but were not admitted were not included in the study. The study started in March 1999 and ended in March 2000.

Results: There were 64 patients admitted for physical violence during time of study, 44 males and 20 females (M: F=2:1). Their ages ranged from eleven months to 62 years with the mean age being 30.1 years. There were 5000 admissions to the hospital during the year (The prevalence was 1.28%). 62.5% of the victims lived in houses with poor sanitary conditions which were also over crowded. Most of the victims were assaulted at home (53.1%). In women domestic violence was responsible for 85.0% of the admissions. More than 50% of domestic violence occurred before 21 hours. Alcohol was involved in 65.6% of the cases and it was the perpetrator of the violence who was often under the influence of alcohol. Domestic conflicts comprised 46.9% of the reason for the violence. The next common reason for the violence was thievery. Among the males 50% of the injuries were serious compared to 40% in females