PA 03-5-2229 Unintentional injuries in children and gender inequalities: analysis of a longitudinal cohort across four developing countries

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Abstract

Injury is a significant cause of death and morbidity among children from the age of one, increasing to become the leading cause of death among children aged 10 to 19 years. Adolescents, particularly girls and young women, are increasingly seen as driving forces in global health and yet are a neglected cohort. There is a growing consensus on the need for investments in adolescent health if the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health are to be achieved.

Increasing globalization has resulted in shifting patterns of exposure to injury-related risk factors. These trends, particularly the impact on reshaping the role of girls and women have not been fully explored in LMIC mainly due to lack of suitable data. Increasingly girls/women are entering the workforce, suggesting that traditional injury patterns and risk-factor exposures are changing.

The Young Lives study provides unique longitudinal household cohort data over a 15 year period (2002–2017) in four developing countries (Vietnam, Peru, Ethiopia and India) recruiting ˜2000 children per country in the younger cohort (0–15 years) and 1000 in the older cohort (8–22 years). Data pertaining to injuries incorporates a wealth of information on risk factors such as age, gender, education, cause, activity at time of injury and on household risk factors pertaining to maternal/caretaker health, education and income.

This research provides an analysis of childhood injuries across the lifespan of the cohort examining cross-country differences and the changing trends/impact of injuries on girls/women over their lifespan (risk-taking, rough play, employment, health-seeking behaviour after injury). It examines links between chronic maternal health (including mental health) and risk of child injury. Such an analysis will identify gender inequalities during adolescence and examine what causes such inequalities to shift or persist in different ways within and between countries.

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