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close this bookDisaster Reports : The Effects of Hurricane David. 1979, on the Population of Dominica (Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) / OrganizaciĆ³n Panamericana de la Salud (OPS), 1979, 59 p.)
close this folder3. Results
close this folder3.4. Injuries
View the document3.4.1. Characteristics of the injured population
View the document3.4.2. The occurrence, causes and nature of the injuries
View the document3.4.3. Medical help for the injured

3.4.1. Characteristics of the injured population

Of the 5,885 people in the survey (with known age and sex) 254 (4.3 %) were reported injured (Table 13). This gives an estimated number of 5,953 cases of injury for the whole population of the island.

Table 13: Injuries by Major Age Groups

Age

Number of people

Number injured

Injury rate (‰)

0-19

3,190

79

24

20-39

1,367

84

61

40-59

751

61

81

60

577

30

51

unknown

92

2


Total

5,977

256

43

(X2, p < 0.01)

The age and sex of the injured

The overall injury rate for vales and females was the same. (Figure 4). Differences in age specific injury rates were statistically significant (Table 13). The detailed graph in five year age groups (Figure 5) shows that injury rates ranged from less than 10 per thousand for the under-fives to over 120 per thousand for men aged 45-49.

Position in the household and occupation

A comparison was made between the position in the household and the occupation of those who were injured and those who were unharmed.

Table 14: Position in Household and Injury


Injured

Not injured

Injury rate (‰)

Heads of house-holds

101

1120

84

Other household members

155

4601

33

Total population

256

5661

43

(X2, p < 0.001)

Heads of households formed Just over 20 % of the population. As table 14 shows, household heads were 2 ½ times as likely as other household members to be injured.


Figure 4: Dominica: Injury Rate by Age and Sex


Figure 5: Dominica: Injury Rate by Sex and 5 Years Age Groups

About a third of household heads were 60 or older, but their injury rate was only 40 per thousand, compared with 99 per thousand and 105 per thousand for younger heads in the age groups 20-39 and 40-59 respectively. (Few household heads were under 20). (Table 15).

Table 15: Heads of Household Surveyed with Age Specific Injury Rates

INJURY RATES

age groups

Injured

Not injured

Injury rate per thousand

0-19

3

20

130

20-39

37

335

99

40-59

46

390

105

60

15

355

40

Total

101

1120

84

The difference in proportion of heads of households among injured and non injured people was significant in a1_ age groups except in those over 60 years of age. (Table 16).

Being head of a household at the time of the disaster thus seems to be a risk factor.

Table 16: Household Heads and Injury by Major Age Groups

Age group

Injured

Not injured

SND


Head of house- hold

Total injured (all positions)

Proportion of heads of household

Head of house-hold

Total not injured population

Proportion of heads of households


0-19

3

79

3.8

20

3133

0.6

p< 0.01

20-39

37

85

43.5

335

1288

26.0

p< 0.01

40-59

46

61

75.4

390

693

56.3

p< 0.01

60 and over

15

31

48.4

355

547

64.9

p> 0.05

Total

101

256

39.5

1120

5661

19.8

p< 0.01

Table 17: Occupation and Injury


Injured

Not injured

Injury rate per thousand

Land labourers

34

315

94*

Housewives

40

484

67**

Total population

256

5661

43

* X2, p < 0.001
** X2, p < 0.005

Land labourers and housewives were significantly more exposed to injury than those in other occupation groups. They were the only major occupation groups found to be significantly risky. (Table 17).

Farmers with an injury rate of 47 per thousand, were not markedly more at risk than the general population.

There was no significant difference in ages between housewives and land labourers who were injured and those who were not. It is interesting to note, however, that housewives and land labourers each formed over a quarter of those injured in the 40-59 age group.

Damage to the home

The hypothesis was that people from homes that had been badly damaged in the hurricane were more likely to have been injured than those from homes that had sustained only minor damage.

Houses were grouped into four categories according to the amount of damage of roof and walls.

Table 18: Damage to House and Injury

Damage to house

Occupants injured

Occupants not injured


No.

%

No.

%

None or minor

63

26.0

1555

28.8

Moderate

63

26.0

1523

28.2

Severe

40

16.5

1009

18.7

Total destruction

76

31.4

1311

24.3

Total

242

100.0

5396

100.0

There was no significant difference between the injured and the uninjured persons in relation to the extent to which their houses had beer damaged (Table 18). Nonetheless, injury rates were somewhat higher for those whose houses had been completely destroyed. Nearly a third of the injured came from such homes.

As a further indicator of the severity of the impact of the hurricane or the home, damage to water and electricity supplies was examined. There was no significant association between injuries and the degree of disruption of either of these facilities.

The lack of association between damage to the home and personal injury may be partly because (as shown later) most injuries happened to pee, who were outside at the time of the disaster. Nevertheless, the amount of damage to housing, in general, did give an indication of how fiercely the hurricane had struck a particular area.

Evacuation and migration.

After the hurricane about 39 % of the population had to leave their homes for a night or longer (Table 19).

Table 19: Evacuation and Injury

JURY


Injured

Not injured


No.

%

No.

%

Left home

101

44.1

1995

39.0

Stayed

128

55.9

3121

61.0

Total

229

100.0

5116

100.0

Overall, there was no significant difference between the injured and the uninjured people as to whether they left or stayed at home.

Looking into the age groups of the injured persons (Table 20), it was found that the 20-39 years age group was significantly more likely to have stayed than to have left home. For the other age groups, the difference between staying and leaving was not significant.

Table 20: Evacuation and Injury by Major Age Groups

Age group

Injured who left

Injured who stayed

Total Injured


No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

0-19

37

50.7

36

49.3

73

100.0

20-39

27*

37.5

49*

64.5

76

100.0

40-59

22

42.1

30

57.7

52

100.0

60 and over

15

53.6

13

46.4

28

100.0

Total

101


128


229


* (SND p< 0.01 )

Table 21: Length of Absence and Injury

Length of absence

Evacuees


Injured

Not injured


No.

%

No.

%

Less than 1 week

27

26.7

674

33.7

More than 1 week

49

48.6

773

38.7

Not yet returned

25

24.7

548

27.4

Total

101

100.0

1995

100.0

There was no significant difference in the length of absence between the injured persons and the others who had to evacuate their homes (Table 21). However. the number of injured people who were absent for more than a week was important.

Settlement types

Table 22: Type of Settlement and injury

Settlement type

Injured


No.

%

Roseau

82

32.0

Towns

104

40.6

Villages

70

27.3

Total

256

100.0

There was no significant difference in the distribution of the injured according to the type of settlement in which they lived (Tableau 22). Injury rates were 39 per thousand for Roseau, 44 per thousand for smaller towns and 47 per thousand for the village.