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Lightning Injury is a disaster in Bangladesh?: Exploring its magnitude and public health needs
Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB), Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Örebro University, School of Health Sciences. (Public Health)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7393-796X
Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB), Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB), Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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2016 (English)In: F1000 Research, ISSN 0106-3324, E-ISSN 2046-1402, Vol. 5, 2931Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Lightning injury is a global public health issue. Low and middle-income countries in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world are most affected by lightning. Bangladesh is one of the countries at particular risk, with a high number of devastating lightning injuries in the past years, causing high mortality and morbidity. The exact magnitude of the problem is still unknown and therefore this study investigates the epidemiology of lightning injuries in Bangladesh, using a national representative sample.

Methods: A mixed method was used. The study is based on results from a nationwide cross-sectional survey performed in 2003 in twelve randomly selected districts. In the survey, a total of 819,429 respondents from 171,336 households were interviewed using face-to-face interviews. In addition, qualitative information was obtained by reviewing national and international newspaper reports of lightning injuries sustained in Bangladesh between 13 and 15 May 2016.

Results: The annual mortality rate was 3.661 (95% CI 0.9313–9.964) per 1,000,000 people. The overall incidence of lightning injury was 19.89/100,000 people. Among the victims, 60.12% (n=98) were males and 39.87% (n=65) were females. Males were particularly vulnerable, with a 1.46 times increased risk compared with females (RR 1.46, 95% CI 1.06–1.99). Rural populations were more vulnerable, with a 8.73 times higher risk, than urban populations (RR 8.73, 95% CI 5.13–14.86). About 43% of injuries occurred between 12 noon and 6 pm. The newspapers reported 81 deaths during 2 days of electric storms in 2016. Lightning has been declared a natural disaster in Bangladesh.

Conclusions: The current study indicates that lightning injuries are a public health problem in Bangladesh. The study recommends further investigations to develop interventions to reduce lightning injuries, mortality and related burden in Bangladesh.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, United Kingdom: Faculty of 1000 Ltd. , 2016. Vol. 5, 2931
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-55245DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.9537.1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-55245DiVA: diva2:1070826
Available from: 2017-02-02 Created: 2017-02-02 Last updated: 2017-02-02Bibliographically approved

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