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A child an hour: burden of injury deaths among children under 5 in Pakistan


Background Globally, more than 875 000 children under the age of 18 die due to injury every year. The rate of child injury death is 3.4 times higher in low-income and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.

Objectives To study injury mortality burden among children under the age of 5 in Pakistan.

Methods Demographic and Health Survey in Pakistan was conducted from September 2006 until February 2007. It included 95 000 households, out of which 3232 households had death of a child under the age of 5 from January 2005 onwards. The Child Verbal Autopsy Questionnaire (CVAQ) was administered to these households with a response rate of 96%.

Results For age group 0–5 years, injury was the sixth leading cause of death and was responsible for 2.5% of all deaths (n=73). For age group 1–5 years, injury was found to be the third leading cause of death (11%) after diarrhoea (18%) and pneumonia (17%). The overall under fives mortality rate due to injury was estimated at 39.5 per 100 000 per year in Pakistan. Drowning (22%), road traffic injuries (12%), burns (11%) and falls (10%) were the most common types of injury. The mortality rate was twice as high in rural areas (32 per 100 000; 95% CI 18 to 45), compared to the urban areas (15 per 100 000; 95% CI 0.3 to 29).

Conclusions Injury is the third leading cause of deaths among children 1–5 in Pakistan. The burden is twice as high in rural areas.

  • Injury Prevention
  • Epidemiology

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