Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Need for Trauma Care Programmes in Developing Countries

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Need for Trauma Care Programmes in Developing Countries

Article excerpt

Sir -- Accidents and injuries are rapidly emerging as leading causes of morbidity and mortality in south-east Asia, where 25% of the world's population are gathered on 5% of its surface area. The number of urban dwellers in the region increased from 229 million in 1980 to 389 million in 1995, and it is expected to reach 460 million by 2000. Increasing urbanization and use of technology without a comparable increase in safety precautions and workplace protection make the developing countries of south-east Asia particularly vulnerable to accidents, injuries and man-made disasters, while the threat from natural disasters continues.

The developing countries of south-east Asia account for almost half the global burden of injuries: India alone lost 26.7 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and China lost 33.6 million DALYs, according to a 1993 report (1). In India, it is estimated that 11 people will be injured or killed every minute by 2001 (2). Health care systems in the region are insufficiently prepared to manage incidents of trauma, accidents and mass casualties, because the essential infrastructure is lacking. The key issue is therefore to define the problem and its magnitude, in order to plan effective management.

The Government of India is taking concerted measures to combat major communicable and noncommunicable diseases. In this regard it has implemented national programmes to reduce morbidity and mortality from these causes, to improve the quality of life of those affected, and to reinforce the delivery of primary, secondary and tertiary health care. …

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