A major cause of death and disability in the Caribbean Region are injuries which accounted for 9.7% of all deaths from 2000 to 20161. Over the past 15 years, deaths due to injuries have been increasing, from 5% in 2000 to 10% in 2015. Assaults followed by road traffic crashes are the main causes of mortality due to injuries. Disproportionately more men than women are affected. The Potential Years of Life Lost (PYLL) from road traffic injuries and assaults are several-fold higher among men than women1.
Injuries are also the leading causes of death in children 5-14 years old mainly due to road traffic accidents and accidental drowning; and among youth 15-24 old due to assault and road traffic accidents.
Death due to injuries is a small reflection of the true burden of injuries and many persons who survive these injuries are left with permanent disabilities. The consequence of injuries goes beyond the physical effects Figure 2.
Figure 2: Consequences of Injuries (Adapted WHO Figure 5, Injuries and Violence. The Facts 2014)
Using a public health approach, many of the major violence and injury events can be prevented. The work that has been done by CARPHA in this area has been in injury surveillance and the creation of a roadmap and mobilisation plan for Violence Injury Prevention. As it is a major public health concern for CMS, the inclusion of injury prevention will be a new area of work for CARPHA.
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