R. Niditanchou, P. Palamara, J. Jansz
The aim of this research was to estimate the incidence of road traffic injuries in Yaounde, Cameroon. Police and hospital records of road traffic crashes for the period 1st November 2013 to 1st of November 2014 for the city of Yaounde were retrieved for analysis. Crash involved persons were matched by names, sex, and age within 5 years. The incidence of road traffic injuries was then calculated from both hospital records and police records using the capture-recapture methodology. The results were compared to the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study as well as to that officially reported by the Cameroon Government. In 2014, 4386 injury cases were identified as reported with 1288 severe injuries and 105 fatalities as estimated with the two-sample capture-recapture method. This is higher than the number of crash involved persons obtained from the police or hospital records alone as well as their aggregate. Police captured only 5.1% of road traffic injuries (which are the official Cameroon Government statistics) while hospitals captured 45%. The aggregate non-overlapping police and hospitals records accounted for 47%. The number of road traffic injuries obtained using the capture-recapture method were lower than the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study of 6951 annual road traffic injuries in the same population. The findings suggests that police records should be considered in relation to factors and conditions leading to road traffic injuries but should not be used as the only source of data for the incidence of road traffic injuries. A more reliable estimate of the incidence would be obtained from the adoption of surveillance method that includes both police and hospital records.
Keywords: road traffic injuries; Cameroon; capture-recapture methodology