Neglected burden of injuries in Ethiopia, from 1990 to 2019

Published May 22, 2023, in Frontiers in Public Health (opens in a new window)



The 2030 agenda for sustainable development goals has given injury prevention new attention, including halving road traffic injuries. This study compiled the best available evidence on injury from the global burden of diseases study for Ethiopia from 1990 to 2019.


Injury data on incidence, prevalence, mortality, disability-adjusted life years lost, years lived with disability, and years of life lost were extracted from the 2019 global burden of diseases study for regions and chartered cities in Ethiopia from 1990 to 2019. Rates were estimated per 100,000 population.


In 2019, the age-standardized rate of incidence was 7,118 (95% UI: 6,621–7,678), prevalence was 21,735 (95% UI: 19,251–26,302), death was 72 (95% UI: 61–83), disability-adjusted life years lost was 3,265 (95% UI: 2,826–3,783), years of life lost was 2,417 (95% UI: 2,043–2,860), and years lived with disability was 848 [95% UI: (620–1,153)]. Since 1990, there has been a reduction in the age-standardized rate of incidence by 76% (95% UI: 74–78), death by 70% (95% UI: 65–75), and prevalence by 13% (95% UI: 3–18), with noticeable inter-regional variations. Transport injuries, conflict and terrorism, interpersonal violence, self-harm, falls, poisoning, and exposure to mechanical forces were the leading causes of injury-related deaths and long-term disabilities. Since 1990, there has been a decline in the prevalence of transport injuries by 32% (95% UI: 31–33), exposure to mechanical forces by 12% (95% UI: 10–14), and interpersonal violence by 7.4% (95% UI: 5–10). However, there was an increment in falls by 8.4% (95% UI: 7–11) and conflict and terrorism by 1.5% (95% UI: 38–27).


Even though the burden of injuries has steadily decreased at national and sub-national levels in Ethiopia over the past 30 years, it still remains to be an area of public health priority. Therefore, injury prevention and control strategies should consider regional disparities in the burden of injuries, promoting transportation safety, developing democratic culture and negotiation skills to solve disputes, using early security-interventions when conflict arises, ensuring workplace safety and improving psychological wellbeing of citizens.

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Moshago Berheto T, Sengoelge M, Tadesse S, et al. Neglected burden of injuries in Ethiopia, from 1990 to 2019: a systematic analysis of the global burden of diseases study 2019. Frontiers in Public Health. 22 May 2023. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1149966.