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Research Article

Vol. 12 No. 2 (2009)

Trauma in Tanzania: Researching Injury in a Low-Resource Setting

  • Baijayanta Mukhopadhyay
  • Respicious Boniface
  • Tarek Razak
August 12, 2020


The prevalence of surgical trauma as a global public health hazard has been severely neglected. Trauma surgeons in Uganda and Canada have developed the Kampala Trauma Score (KTS), a trauma severity index specific to east African contexts. Hospitals in Tanzania have begun to use this tool to measure their own trauma management protocols in order to measure the validity of this index regionally. This study sought to enhance analysis of data collected through the KTS, by highlighting the efficacy and the lacunae of this registry through evaluation of the data quality of one ongoing round of data collection at an orthopaedic emergency room in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The data was screened for missing values that would have impact on prediction of clinical evolution and also analysed for contradictory evidence. Interviews were conducted with data collectors on the main challenges involved in data gathering and analysis for this project. Analysis of the initial round of data collection confirms road accidents cause the most trauma in Dar es Salaam, with pedestrians being particularly  vulnerable. However, critical sources of information such as serious injury scores and two-week follow- up were inconsistently recorded, thereby limiting outcome measurement. The lack of research  resources, both financial and human, had a major impact on the ability to sustain the data collection. While the results of this study demonstrate the public health value of having a mechanism to record trauma, research capacity must be supported in low-resource settings in order to enhance clinical care to accident and injury patients.


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