Article

The impact of violence on health in low-to middle-income countries

University of Cape Town School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Cape Town, South Africa.
International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion (Impact Factor: 0.67). 01/2009; 15(4):177-87. DOI: 10.1080/17457300802396487
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT More than 90% of violence-related deaths occur in low- to middle-income countries (LMICs), where the mortality rate due to violence is almost 2.5 times greater than in high-income countries. Over and above the substantial contribution of violence as a cause of death and physical injuries, victims of violence are also more vulnerable to a range of mental and physical health problems. Several studies describe the deleterious impact of different types of violence on a range of health outcomes, but no review has yet been undertaken that presents a composite overview of the current state of knowledge in LMICs. This paper reviews the scientific literature describing the nature, magnitude and impact of violence on health, describing the current state of violence-prevention policy developments within the global health agenda and highlighting the health consequences, disease burden and economic costs of violence. Although data are limited, the review indicates that costs relating to violence deplete health care budgets considerably and that scarce resources could be better used to address other health threats that hamper development.

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Brett Bowman