Child Mortality On The Rise – Senior Lecturer Liyanaarachchi Reveals
Posted on November 12th, 2012

By K.A.S. Kumara and Chaminda Kankanamge in Galle

Accidents have been identified as the main cause of child deaths in Sri Lanka. Senior Lecturer of Ruhunu Medical College, Nayana Liyanaarachchi addressing the Galle District Accident Prevention Committee said “Generally, most child deaths occur due to infectious and non infectious diseases. But deaths due to the occurrence of body damage/ wounds are the fourth highest cause of death among children.”

“About nine hundred and fifty thousand people throughout the world die of body damage/wound””…”related causes each year,” she said adding that no research has so far been carried out in Sri Lanka of accident related child deaths. A Survey carried out in 2004 showed that of the child fatalities in Sri Lanka about 22%  were due to road accidents, 10% were due to drowning accidents, 9% due to fire related accidents, about 4%  due to falls from heights and about 3% due to ingestion of poisonous substances, she revealed.

Approximately ten million people are hospitalized each year around the world due to accident related injuries. Such a high accident rate in Sri Lanka has consequences not only for the families concerned but also the economy of this country as these accidents are also the cause of a large number of people becoming permanently disabled,” she said. She noted that concerning child deaths by accident “Parents who take their children to school by motorcycle often neglect to strap their helmets up, even though they are wearing this protective head gear.

This failure to “ƒ”¹…”strap up’ exposes the child to great danger in the event of an accident. There is a mistaken belief among such motorcyclists that the police do not consider it mandatory for a child to “ƒ”¹…”strap up’ his/her helmet. Parents must be fully aware of their child’s safety when they are on a motor cycle, ” she stresses.

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