Injuries leading cause of hospitalisations, expert says 

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Injuries have been the leading cause of hospital admissions in Sri Lanka contributing to majority of disabilities, Consultant Community Physician of the National Non-Communicable Diseases Control Programme, Dr. Samitha Siritunga said yesterday (15). 

Accordingly, annually more than 1.2 million are admitted to government hospitals to seek in-ward care and an estimated three to four million seek medical care as a result of injuries.

“Annually about 12,000 Sri Lankans succumbed from injuries,” he said noting that injuries are among the top ten causes of death in Sri Lanka.

It is estimated that four people die every three hours due to injuries. They are the number one killer among economically productive age group of 15-44 years.

“Since majority of casualties are in the economically productive age group and due to the rising cost of healthcare for patients, the impact of accidents on the healthcare system as well as the Sri Lankan economy is enormous.

As a response to the increased burden of injuries in Sri Lanka, under the leadership of the Directorate of Non Communicable Diseases, Ministry of Health, the first National Multi-Sectoral Action Plan on Injury Prevention and Management was developed in collaboration with various Ministries, authorities, departments and also NGOs.  Launch of Multi-sectoral Action Plan for Injury Prevention and Management (MSAP) for 2021-2025 the Consultant Community Physician said that preventing injury during the prevailing situation in the country was highly important.

“This was launched on 26 April 2022 and will provide a road map to all stakeholders to streamline and strengthen the injury prevention programme in Sri Lanka,” Dr. Sirithunga said.

He said that syphoning of fuel could lead to aspiration and cause respiratory illness while exposure to fuel (diesel/ petrol) vapours in areas with limited or poor ventilation could lead to neurological problems.

The Consultant Community Physician said that failure to follow the general guidelines and safety protocols recommended for use when generating electricity from generators and failing to obtain the necessary technical advice from the relevant technicians could also increase the risk of explosions and burns. (DJ)