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Epidemiology of gunshot injuries in Kano, Nigeria

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Abstract:

Background: The incidence of civilian gunshot injuries has been reported to be on the increase globally. This study was undertaken to determine the epidemiology of gunshot injuries in Kano, Northern Nigeria. Patients and Methods: A retrospective analysis of patients with gunshot injuries seen at five major government hospitals in Kano metropolis over a four year period (1999-2002). Results: There were 224 cases, with males out-numbering females by a ratio of 27:1. Eighty -one point three percent of patients were aged between 20 and 44 years. The most commonly injured body regions were the lower limbs (31.6%), chest (15.6%), upper limbs (9.4%) and head (9.0%). A fatal outcome was recorded in 12.5% of cases. Most injuries occurred among traders, students, farmers and security agents, and armed robbery attacks and civil conflicts were the aetiological factors in majority of cases. Conclusion: Gunshot injuries are a major cause of morbidity among adult men in Kano. Addressing the root causes of violence such as poverty, unemployment, and substance abuse will reduce the incidence of gunshot injuries in our society.

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