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Road traffic accidents in Tunisia: a man made disaster. Pr Hassen Ghannem Department of Epidemiology University Hospital Farhat Hached Sousse, Tunisia. Disaster Webster’s Dictionary defines disaster as a baleful or fatal event leading to ruin. Family Country
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a man made disaster
Pr Hassen Ghannem
Department of Epidemiology
University Hospital Farhat Hached Sousse,
Figure 2 : Road traffic injury mortality rates in the different regions of the world (1)
*1,2 millions persons killed every year
* 3242 persons killed every day
* Traffic accidents : 11th cause of death
* Developing countries:
- 2/3 of the world population
- 90% of deaths due to road crashes
* Increase in the mortality rates of 10% between 1990 and 2002 (1)
* Differences between developped and developing countries
Figure 3 : Changes in road crashes mortality rates according to countries (1)
During the period 1996-1998 (3):
- 32 197 accidents, with 14,9 deaths per 100 accidents
- an average traffic accidents incidence :
116,3 / 100 000 inhabitants / year
- an average mortality rate :
14,2 deaths / 100 000 inhabitants / year
- 5,9 persons killed per 100 humans implied
- the average age of the persons who were implied in the accidents : 33,6 years
- About 61,7 % of drivers were aged 20-40 years;
21 times more males than females among drivers
- Pedestrians were the most vulnerable and the most severely injured.
The risk depends on four elements :
- the road users
- the vehicles
- the roads infrastructure as well as the traffic management.
A- A scientific approach to the issue is necessary :
Many conditions are required to guarantee the efficiency of the prevention strategies which are adopted.
Figure 7 : Organizations intervening
in road safety actions(1)
Prevention strategies are made of interventions which are aiming to :
a – The use of seat-belts
b- Use of helmets
c- Availability of air bags
- pre-hospital mesures :
* Bystanders : call for help, carry out simple acts to rescue victims, protect victims from an other accident
* Larger access to emergency services
* Better pre-hospital medical care
- actions in the hospital :
Traffic accidents constitute a huge public health problem: a man made disaster.
The situation is going to be worse unless prevention strategies are adopted.
There is a hope to avoid such losses of lives, of health and of money by setting road safety actions.
A scientific approach to the issue is essential in every country, so that road safety policies could be founded on reliable data, and meeting financial resources of each region.
1- World report on road traffic injury prevention.
Geneva (Switzerland), World health organization, 2004.
2- Bovet B. Health transition and emerging cardiovascular disease in developing countries :
situation and strategies for prevention, Super course.
3- Henchir N. Epidemiology of traffic accidents in Tunisia [thesis]. Sousse : Medicine
Faculty of Sousse 2001.