Self reported alcohol use in an urban traffic trauma population in Kenya

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


Background: Kenya has a soaring rate of road traffic fatalities. Available evidence suggests significant alcohol-relatedness to trauma. We know little about the prevalence of alcohol-related injuries in Nairobi.

Objective: To determine the extent and pattern of alcohol use in subjects admitted following road traffic accident.

Design: A descriptive hospital based survey. Setting: Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH)- a university affiliated hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.

Results: The overall incidence of alcohol use was 26.3%. This was higher in males (29.6%) than females (9.1%). Use was 24.4%, 31.0%, 28.6% and 13.6% in the 16-25, 26-35, 36-45 and 46-55 age groups respectively. The mean ages, pre-hospital times and ISS were similar for the AUG and NAUG. The incidence of males, weekend injuries, night collisions, and pedestrian involvement was 94.4%, 69.4%, 41.7%, 77.8% in the AUG and 83.2%, 35.6%, 19.8% and 61.4% in the NAUG respectively. The incidence of head and extremity injuries in AUG was 27.8% and 50% respectively compared to 11.9% and 66.3% in the NAUG. Treatment costs were higher for the NAUG.

Conclusions: The results suggest a high incidence and potential alcohol-relatedness to road trauma in Nairobi. The study calls for objective evaluation of the extent, interactions and effects of this modifiable trauma factor.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


East African Medical Journal