Original articles

The prevalence of intentional and unintentional injuries in selected Johannesburg housing settlements

J F Mendes, A Mathee, N Naicker, P Becker, S Naidoo


Intentional and unintentional injuries were reported to be the second leading cause of Disability Adjusted Life Years in South Africa in 2000. We present household experiences of such injuries in 5 impoverished housing settlements in Johannesburg, Gauteng Province. Data for this study were extracted from the database of the Health, Environment and Development (HEAD) project. The incidence of reported intentional injuries was determined to be double that of unintentional injuries. Households in the Hospital Hill and Riverlea settlements reported the highest prevalence of stabbing and gunshot incidents. We concluded that impoverished South African neighbourhoods bear a high burden of intentional injury; surveillance mechanisms are required to inform prevention strategies at an individual, community and societal level.

Authors' affiliations

J F Mendes, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand

A Mathee, South African Medical Research Council

N Naicker, South African Medical Research Council

P Becker, Clinical Epidemiology, University of Pretoria

S Naidoo, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand

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Injuries; Violence; Urban Settlements; Female headed households

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2011;101(11):835-836,838.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-05-31
Date published: 2011-11-01

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