Injury outcome among helmeted and non-helmeted motorcycle riders and passengers at a tertiary care hospital in north-western Tanzania

  • Phillipo L. Chalya Consultant General surgeon and Senior Lecturer in Surgery_CUHAS-Bugando
  • Isidori H. Ngayomela Lecturer, Orthopedic surgeon, Department of Orthopedics,CUHAS-Bugando
  • Joseph B. Mabula Senior Lecturer, Department of Surgery, CUHAS_Bugando
  • Nkinda Mbelenge Lecturer, Orthopedic surgeon, Department of Orthopedics,CUHAS-Bugando
  • Ramesh M. Dass Lecturer, Orthopedic surgeon, Department of Orthopedics,CUHAS-Bugando
  • Alphonce B. Chandika Lecturer in Surgery, Department of Surgery, CUHAS,Bugando
  • Japhet M. Gilyoma Professor, Department of Surgery, CUHAS_Bugando
  • Sospatro E. Ngallaba Senior Lecturer, School of Public health, CUHAS, Bugando
  • Anthony Kapesa Lecturer, School of Public health, CUHAS, Bugando
Keywords: motorcycle accidents, helmet use, injury outcome, Tanzania

Abstract

Motorcycle helmets have been reported to reduce the risk of death and head injuries following motorcycle accidents. The aim of this descriptive prospective study was to determine the injury outcome among helmeted and non-helmeted motorcyclists and passengers at a tertiary hospital in north-western Tanzania. A total of 654 patients involved in the motorcycle accident were studied. Of these, 468 (71.6%) were motorcyclists (riders) and the remaining 186 (28.4%) were passengers. The median age of patients at presentation was 26 years.  Male outnumbered females by a ratio of 4.5: 1. Helmet use was reported in 312 (47.7%) patients. Non-helmeted patients were young compared with helmeted patients and this was statistically significant (p=0.021). The rate of helmet use was significantly higher among motorcyclists than among passengers (p=0.004).  History of alcohol consumption prior to the accident was reported in 212 (32.4%) patients. The rate of helmet use was significantly low among alcohol consumers compared with non-alcohol consumers (p=0.011). Lack of helmet use was significantly associated with abnormal head Computed Tomography scans, admission to the Intensive care unit, severe trauma, and worse traumatic brain injury severity (p<0.001). Helmet use was significantly associated with shorter period of hospitalization and reduced mortality rate (p<0.001). Motorcycle helmet use is still low in this part of Tanzania and this poses a great impact on injury outcome among motorcycle injury patients. This observation calls for action to implement more widespread injury prevention and helmet safety education and advocacy.

Author Biographies

Phillipo L. Chalya, Consultant General surgeon and Senior Lecturer in Surgery_CUHAS-Bugando
Consultant General surgeon and Senior Lecturer in Surgery_CUHAS-Bugando
Isidori H. Ngayomela, Lecturer, Orthopedic surgeon, Department of Orthopedics,CUHAS-Bugando
Lecturer, Orthopedic surgeon, Department of Orthopedics,CUHAS-Bugando
Joseph B. Mabula, Senior Lecturer, Department of Surgery, CUHAS_Bugando
enior Lecturer, Department of Surgery, CUHAS_Bugando
Nkinda Mbelenge, Lecturer, Orthopedic surgeon, Department of Orthopedics,CUHAS-Bugando
Lecturer, Orthopedic surgeon, Department of Orthopedics,CUHAS-Bugando
Ramesh M. Dass, Lecturer, Orthopedic surgeon, Department of Orthopedics,CUHAS-Bugando
Lecturer, Orthopedic surgeon, Department of Orthopedics,CUHAS-Bugando
Alphonce B. Chandika, Lecturer in Surgery, Department of Surgery, CUHAS,Bugando
Lecturer in Surgery, Department of Surgery, CUHAS_Bugand
Japhet M. Gilyoma, Professor, Department of Surgery, CUHAS_Bugando
Professor, Department of Surgery, CUHAS_Bugando
Sospatro E. Ngallaba, Senior Lecturer, School of Public health, CUHAS, Bugando
Senior Lecturer, School of Public health, CUHAS_Bugando
Anthony Kapesa, Lecturer, School of Public health, CUHAS, Bugando
Lecturer, School of Public health, CUHAS_Bugando
Published
2014-07-20
How to Cite
ChalyaP. L., NgayomelaI. H., MabulaJ. B., MbelengeN., DassR. M., ChandikaA. B., GilyomaJ. M., NgallabaS. E., & KapesaA. (2014). Injury outcome among helmeted and non-helmeted motorcycle riders and passengers at a tertiary care hospital in north-western Tanzania. Tanzania Journal of Health Research, 16(4). https://doi.org/10.4314/thrb.v16i4.4
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1821-9241
print ISSN: 1821-6404