Injuries impose a heavy health burden in Bangladesh, causing more than 71 000 deaths every year. However, policy responses are inadequate and public awareness remain low. This study aims to provide an intuitive measure of this burden.Methods
The study uses data from a baseline census conducted as part of the Saving of Lives from Drowning (SoLiD) project. The census was implemented in 51 unions from seven purposively sampled rural subdistricts of Bangladesh between June and November, 2013. We apply the cause-eliminated life table technique to measure the burden of major types of injuries. We will estimate the gain in life expectancy under several hypothetical scenarios, such as completely eliminating injury deaths, halving injury death rates, reducing injury death rate in Bangladesh to the level of regional and global best performers. Since life expectancy and a gain in it are intuitive for public and policy makers to understand, this approach has the potential to call attention to this significant yet under-recognized public health issue.Findings
The overall injury mortality rate was 38 deaths per 100 000 population per year in the 1.2 million people covered by the census. Major causes of injuries are drowning (38.3%), transportation (17.8%), and fall (13.1%). Complete elimination of injuries will result in an increase of life expectancy at birth by 1.23 years, meaning that on average Bangladeshi people could live one year and three months more than they would in the presence of injuries. The gains are 0.50 years, 0.21 years, and 0.15 years, respectively for the elimination of drowning, transportation, and fall injuries. (more results to be added)Conclusion and policy implications
The heavy burden and substantial gains in life expectancy signal the urgency for actions from government, developmental agencies, and other stakeholders to prevent injuries. Effective intervention package may include effective measures to confront major types of injuries such as drowning, transportation, and fall.