The burden of disease in commercial motorcycle injuries at Ibadan
Background: Commuting by the motorcycle (‘Okada’) has become a menace in Nigeria due to injuries from preventable crashes. This study elucidates the pattern of injuries and the burden of disease from motorcycle crashes presenting in our facility.
Patients and methods: Patients presenting to our tertiary hospital following motorcycle crashes over a 17-month period were studied prospectively.
Results: A total of 167 patients with mean age 33.4 years were evaluated; 82.2% were aged 21 years and above. Male: female ratio was 3:1. Over three-quarters of patients presented the same day. Motorcycle-car
collision was the commonest mechanism (44.7%). Limb injuries occurred in 83.2% of cases, while 43 (25.8%) had head and neck injuries. None of the cyclists wore a helmet at the time of the crash. 67.6% of the cases
were managed conservatively. A mortality rate of 2.9% was recorded.
Conclusion: Commercial motor cycling no doubt eases domestic transportation in our country. However, the economic effect as well as the morbidity and mortality arising from motorcycle crashes calls for strict laws to regulate its use by government. Licensing of riders and enforcement of traffic laws including the use of crash helmet should stem the rising tide of preventable morbidity and mortality currently associated.
Keywords: motor-cycle (okada) injuries, road crashes