Kenya: road-traffic accidents
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RTAs exert a huge burden on the country's economy in terms of vehicle repairs, the treatment of injuries, and compensation claims. The annual economic costs are estimated to have risen from an equivalent of 1.6% of gross national product in 1984 to 5% in 1991, far in excess of the 1–2% of GNP estimated for developing countries. A 1995 hospital-based survey in Eldoret, a town in western Kenya with a population of 200 000, indicated traffic accidents as the leading cause of injury-related hospital admission; road accidents accounted for 44% of the inpatient-days for patients injured by any mechanism. 49% of traffic casualties required admission and half of all trauma patients who underwent major surgery had been injured in a vehicle-related incident. 77·8% of victims were males, and 78·5% were in the economically productive age bracket of 15-44 years. The long-term effects of such accidents can be grave, and the burden will continue to rise unless effectve road-safety policies are introduced.