The burden of injuries in the Philippines: Implications for national research policy

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Accident Analysis and Prevention








Burden of disease; Health research; Homicides; Injury; Intentional injury; Philippines


Injuries cause 10% of the mortality and 15% of disability worldwide. However, there is a paucity of data on injuries in the developing world where two-thirds of all injury deaths occur. This is the first published report characterizing the overall problem of injuries in the Philippines, a developing country in southeast Asia. This report defines the burden of injuries in the Philippines and identifies priority areas for the national health research agenda. A systematic review of 35 years of published and unpublished data on injuries in the Philippines (1960-1995) was conducted. Injury fatality rates increased by 196% from 14.3 per 100,000 in 1960 to 42.3 per 100,000 in 1995, and one in 11 deaths in the Philippines are due to injuries. Intentional injuries account for 48% of all injury deaths and motor vehicle crashes for 15%. For 15-44 year old males, injuries account for 42% of all deaths, 67% of which are intentional. The proportion of all deaths attributable to intentional injuries has increased by 925% and that of motor vehicle crashes by 600% from 1960 to 1995. Improvements in injury surveillance and documentation of non-fatal injury outcomes are needed. Research into risk factors and potential interventions for the prevention of intentional injuries should be a priority in the Philippines. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.