Background: The burden and pattern of unintentional child injuries in Yemen are not yet studied. This study aimed to determine the rate of unintentional injuries and their associated factors and describe the pattern of these injuries among schoolchildren in Sana'a city, Yemen.
Methods: A cross-sectional school-based study was conducted among students in grades 9 –12 in Sana’a Capital City. A total of 10 schools were selected using multistage sampling technique. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data.
Results: A total of 1140 students (558 girls and 582 boys) participated in the study. Of all students, 550 (48.2%) students reported unintentional injuries during the last 12-months. In the multivariate analysis, boys were more likely to be injured compared to girls (OR = 1.6) and being a child of divorced or widowed parents was significantly associated with increased odds of injury (OR = 1.7). Age of the household head ≤ 45 years was associated with deceased odds of injuries (OR = 0.76). Fall was the leading cause of injury. More than half of girls (58.9%) and 30.9% of boys were injured at home. About two thirds (64.9%) of injuries affected the lower or upper extremities. One quarter of students (24.5%) received care for their injuries in outpatient clinics and 15.3% were hospitalized because of the injury. About 26.0% of injured students missed schools for one week or more. The vast majority of students (98.4%) recovered the injury while 1.6% of injuries resulted in disability.
Conclusions: Schoolchildren in Yemen had a high rate of unintentional injuries being higher in boys and in children of divorced or widowed parents. These injuries should be recognized as a public health problem in Yemen and should be included in the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health agenda. The reported injury mechanisms and activities posing injury risks should have implications for future interventions and awareness programs.
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