The PeerCorps Trust Fund is a Tanzanian non-governmental
organization committed to improving health and safety in Tanzania at
community and national levels.
Child and Adolescent Safety
Dr. Michael L. Wilson
Injuries are a leading cause of death globally, with wide
differences between and within countries. Injury rates are much
higher in low-income countries (LICs), in particular those on the
African continent and in groups and areas affected by resource
deprivation. In SSA, injuries are the third leading cause of death.
Few countries from the region have epidemiological data on child
injury in and around the home and preventive programs are not
common. Tanzania is no exception.
Young children aged 0-5 years are particularly vulnerable to
injuries. They often lack the knowledge, motor skills and capacity
to respond to dangers in their environment. Their safety is
therefore often dependent on their caregivers. Children beyond
preschool years are more capable of independently encountering
situations that place them at risk. Child injury patterns differ
therefore according to the stage of development with the majority of
injuries involving young children occurring in and around the home.
Poverty – as a key characteristic of material deprivation – has a
compounding effect on injury circumstances and outcomes.
During the summer of 2009, we conducted Tanzania’s first large scale
community based study designed to characterize the patterns and
understand injury risks posed to children in the urban environment
in Tanzania. The study was conducted in Dar es Salaam and
encompassed some 4,000 children in 2,000 households. We are
currently in the process of disseminating the results as widely as
possible. Please visit our publications page for forthcoming reports
and published manuscripts.