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Road traffic injury is an escalating burden in Africa

The death rate from traffic injuries is higher in Africa than in any other region of the world, and yet research into improving road safety in Africa is scarce, argues Emmanuel Lagarde (French National Institute for Health and Medical Research) in an Essay in PLoS Medicine.

The road traffic injury mortality rate in Africa is 28.3 per 100,000 of the population when corrected for under-reporting, compared with 11.0 per 100,000 in Europe.

But while many results on road injury prevention are available from developed countries, says Lagarde, we must now “scale up surveillance and research efforts in developing countries in order to determine how to build on these results, taking regional specificities into account."

Documented success stories in road safety in Africa are needed, says the author, to demonstrate that road traffic accidents need not be inevitable and unpredictable, but are avoidable.

Citation: Lagarde E (2007) Road traffic injury is an escalating burden in Africa and deserves proportionate research efforts. PLoS Med 4(6): e170.

Andrew Hyde | alfa
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