oa Journal of Psychology in Africa - Injury in selected peri-urban settlements in the western cape, South Africa

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1433-0237



The article investigates the injury rates and patterns reported in a peri-urban setting located in the Western Cape region of South Africa. Peri-urban South African settings are often marked by poverty, unemployment and crime. While there has been some injury research in metropolitan South Africa, there is a paucity of injury data for settlements on the periphery of the city centres. This article reports on a household study conducted in a cluster of peri-urban communities in the Western Cape. Over a one-year period up to June 1998,4.8 percent of the study population (95 percent confidence interval 3.9 percent to 5.8 percent) reported an injury. The majority of injuries were due to traffic crashes (23 percent), falls (18 percent), violence (17 percent), and burns (7 percent), with a further 17 percent due to other injuries such as poisoning and sports activities. Injuries were mostly sustained in the neighbourhoods themselves, and in or around the respondents' homes. High-risk times for injury were in the afternoons, over weekends, and over the months of April, October, June and December. Most injuries were sustained by males (69.79 percent) and in the 30 to 39 year and the birth to 4-year age groups. These neighbourhood injury risk profiles and indicators provide an information base for the development of injury and trauma prevention and containment initiatives, and may assist in the implementation of similar projects in other peri-urban settings.

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