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Preventing childhood injuries in Uganda

Globally, nearly 650,000 children lose their lives to injuries every year. Injuries that occur in the home to children under the age of 5 years (burns, falls, drowning, poisoning) can be prevented through the provision of appropriate safety equipment such as barriers, childproof containers, and smoke alarms, coupled with parental education. A number of studies conducted in high-income countries have shown significant reductions in child injuries following this approach.

This proposal aims to reduce unintentional injuries in the home among under-5s in Jinja, Uganda through the provision of a child safety kit and parental education. It will be conducted in two phases:

  • Phase 1 is formative and will be guided by a community-based participatory approach using mixed methods (in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, market surveys) to contextualise the child injury problem (identifying accurate incidence rates from which to define a sample size for Phase 2) and develop a child safety kit and educational material/training;
  • Phase 2 will measure behaviour change and reductions in injuries through a cluster Randomised Control Trial (RCT). 

The specific objectives are:

  1. To describe the under 5 child injury context in Jinja, Uganda
  2. To explore practices and behaviours that put under-5s at risk of injury in the home environment
  3. To develop an appropriate child safety kit including supporting educational material for a low-income setting
  4. To test the impact of implementing a child safety kit versus traditional education
  5. To explore opportunities for scale-up across other low-income countries.

To our knowledge this will be the first RCT on child safety equipment and education conducted in Africa. The results will thus have significant implications for other lower income countries both in terms of research methodology and effectiveness information.

For more information contact Prasanthi Attwood.