Analysis of traumatic injuries presenting to a referral hospital emergency department in Moshi, Tanzania.


BACKGROUND: Injuries represent a significant and growing public health concern in the developing world, yet their impact on patients and the emergency health-care system in the countries of East Africa has received limited attention. This study evaluates the magnitude and scope of injury related disorders in the population presenting to a referral hospital emergency department in northern Tanzania. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of patients presenting to the emergency department at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre was performed. A standardized data collection form was used for data abstraction from the emergency department logbook and the complete medical record for all injured patients. Patient demographics, mechanism of injury, location, type and outcomes were recorded. RESULTS: Ten thousand six hundred twenty-two patients presented to the emergency department for evaluation and treatment during the 7-month study period. One thousand two hundred twenty-four patients (11.5%) had injuries. Males and individuals aged 15 to 44 years were most frequently injured, representing 73.4% and 57.8%, respectively. Road traffic injuries were the most common mechanism of injury, representing 43.9% of injuries. Head injuries (36.5%) and extremity injuries (59.5%) were the most common location of injury. The majority of injured patients, 59.3%, were admitted from the emergency department to the hospital wards, and 5.6%, required admission to an intensive care unit. Death occurred in 5.4% of injured patients. CONCLUSIONS: These data give a detailed and more robust picture of the patient demographics, mechanisms of injury, types of injury and patient outcomes from similar resource-limited settings.






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Publication Info

Casey, Erica R, Florida Muro, Nathan M Thielman, Elifuraha Maya, Eric W Ossmann, Michael B Hocker and Charles J Gerardo (2012). Analysis of traumatic injuries presenting to a referral hospital emergency department in Moshi, Tanzania. Int J Emerg Med, 5(1). pp. 1–7. 10.1186/1865-1380-5-28 Retrieved from

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Nathan Maclyn Thielman

Professor of Medicine

Broadly, my research focuses on a range of clinical and social issues that affect persons living with or at risk for HIV infection in resource-poor settings. In Tanzania, our group is applying novel methods to optimize HIV testing uptake among high-risk groups. We recently demonstrated that the Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE), a form of stated preference survey research, is a robust tool for identifying (a) which characteristics of HIV testing options are most preferred by different populations and (b) which tradeoffs individuals make in evaluating testing options. Building on more than a decade of productive HIV testing research in the Kilimanjaro Region, the next phase of our NIMH funded project will test the hypothesis that DCE-derived HIV testing options significantly increases rates of testing among groups at high risk for HIV infection. This work holds promise not only for optimizing HIV testing uptake in the Kilimanjaro Region, but also for applying novel tools in the service of translational epidemiology and implementation research.


Charles J. Gerardo

Professor of Emergency Medicine

Dr. Gerardo is Professor and Chair for the Department of Emergency Medicine.  He graduated with honors from Stanford University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology, and received his MD degree from University of California, Davis.  He went on to complete his residency training in Emergency Medicine at Loma Linda University Medical Center.  He completed his Masters of Health Sciences from the Duke University Clinical Research and Training Program.  In 2000, he joined Emergency Medicine faculty at Duke University and has served in numerous educational, research and administrative leadership roles. His current research focuses on US and global snake envenomation using a variety of methodologies from transitional science and clinical trials to machine learning and implementation science. He has over 90 peer reviewed publications and book chapters, and is published in JAMA, PLOS Medicine, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Academic Emergency Medicine and Clinical Toxicology. 

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