IMC Colloquium Series: "Geographic Injury Surveillance"

Friday, February 5, 2010
11:30 - 12:30

Dr. Nadine Schuurman
Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University


Each year, 5 million people die from injuries sustained from road traffic collisions, as a result of falls, on the, job, or due to violence. Another 100 million people are severely injured or permanently disabled by these mechanisms. Together, these events, which are often preventable, are a leading cause of potential years of life lost, lost productivity, and inestimable hardships for individuals, families and society. In British Columbia, more than 400,000 are injured each year. Of these, 26,000 require hospitalization, over 9,000 are left with permanent disabilities, and 1600 die, resulting in the loss of over 37,000 potential years of life. In Canada and around the world, injury is increasingly recognized as an important public health issue requiring investment in research, thoughtful analysis and vigorous action. A public health approach - based on identifying and reducing risk - to injury control is considered to be most effective method of reducing the burden of injury. This talk focuses on way that geographic information science, spatial analysis and cartography can be used to identify clusters of injury, correlates with socio-economic status, impediments to access, as well as the role of enhanced data collection in resource poor environments. The role of GIS in understanding and mitigating injury will be illustrated by reviewing multiple injury surveillance projects in British Columbia, Canada and South Africa.