Special Series on Child Injury no. 1. This paper presents an overview of the IRC Child Injury Series, a working paper series on child injury that has its first focus on injury in developing countries. The series summarizes the findings of 6 national and sub-national surveys in Asia, in Bangladesh, China, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The surveys, undertaken using a new methodology resembling a census, found that injury is the leading cause of death after infancy in children through 17 years of age in all five countries surveyed. The methodology involved creating a very large, representative sample of households in each national/sub-national survey and directly counting all mortality events in the previous three years and all morbidity events that required missing work, school, or being hospitalized from injury in the previous one year. The results show that current estimates of child mortality miss most injury deaths in early childhood. Current estimates do not include children five years and over. As a result, injury, which is a leading cause of death in children under five, and the leading cause of death in children five years and over, is currently invisible to policymakers and is not included in child health programmes. The surveys show a consistent pattern of types of injury in the different stages of childhood in the countries surveyed. Drowning, greatly under-estimated using traditional methods of surveillance is the leading injury cause, being responsible for over half of all injury deaths in children. The surveys include injury morbidity and show the social, health and economic burden of non-fatal injury is higher than fatal injury. While falls, road traffic, cuts and burns were found to be leading causes of morbidity, animal injury also emerged as a leading cause of mortality and morbidity. The paper examines the implications of the new survey findings for child health programming and concludes that addressing injury is necessary to continue current progress in child mortality reductions in the region.
child health; child mortality; demographic change; developing countries; disabilities; infant mortality; right to health and health services; under five mortality rate;
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