Did you know that more than 93% of global deaths from injuries occur in low- and middle-income countries, surpassing the toll of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined?
There is a huge global burden of trauma and its care. Malawi like many other countries, is facing the escalating problem of injuries, which is resulting in an increased burden of fractures. The World Health Organization reports that more than 93% of global deaths from injuries occur in low- and middle income countries having the toll exceeding that of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. Fractures in general cause a heavy economic burden on victims and their families, both through treatment costs for the injured and through loss of productivity of those killed or disabled. More broadly, fractures have a serious impact on national economies, costing countries 3% of their annual gross domestic product. Current data on fractures in Malawi suggests a lot of these fractures are resulting from Road Traffic Injuries especially, pedestrian, car, and motorcycle (Kabaza) and are having difficulties to access proper treatment in time.
The financial and physical impact of road traffic crushes are not just borne by the individuals but extended family, society at large, the health sector and the economy of the country. Injuries and deaths, therefore, create a significant financial burden for individuals and families as well as for the health care system.
RTIs affect the healthcare system by placing significant demands on resources, stretching the budget, and resulting in an estimated loss of between 1% and 3% of the Gross Domestic Product annually.
After an injury, a patient's social life, economic situation, and mental health suffer. The pain, resources, and time spent in the hospital may contribute to depression, and individuals may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the trauma of the injury.
Families with a disabled member due to RTIs often suffer economically, especially if the member was the breadwinner. This leaves children more vulnerable in society. Deaths resulting from RTIs leave behind orphans and relatives who were dependent on the deceased, resulting in their suffering.
Several factors contribute to the challenges in addressing the burden of trauma and RTIs:
Poor infrastructures and equipment
Lack of sufficient trained healthcare workers
Exclusion of traditional bonesetters from local trauma systems
Lack of post-crash systems due to scarce human resources
Unavailability of timely transport to hospitals
Lack of basic and necessary equipment
Lack of training in trauma care