The Value of Hospital Data: Understanding and Preventing Intentional Injury in Liberia (Working Paper 22)
Studying the evidence related to the burden of injury of a population is a critical component of developing strategies to prevent and reduce violence. In many countries around the world, national observatories have been established to collect data to measure and monitor armed violence in an effort to inform and strengthen evidence-based armed violence reduction initiatives.
The Value of Hospital Data: Understanding and Preventing Intentional Injury in Liberia is a Working Paper published by the Small Arms Survey with International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). It draws on data provided by the Liberian Armed Violence Observatory (LAVO), an independent institution designed to gather, analyse, and produce reports on armed violence data in Liberia, where high levels of violence have characterized the country’s post-conflict transition.
The report provides an examination of hospital records and discusses the policy implications of retrospective audits of records from two hospitals in Monrovia, Liberia, so as to: 1) investigate the prevalence of injuries presenting to hospitals, particularly interpersonal injuries, including those from armed violence, and 2) compare and contrast the quantity and quality of data collected from the Monrovian hospital audit with data being provided to LAVO from the same hospitals and from other sources.
While stressing the need for systematized record-keeping practices in hospitals, this Working Paper calls attention to the value of quality hospital data on interpersonal injuries in the context of informing and designing violence reduction policies and interventions. Given that the LAVO injury surveillance model is likely to be replicated in other West African countries, this study can serve to support not only the Liberian government in meeting international regulations on reducing armed violence and promoting peace and disarmament, but also its neighbours.
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