Fatal Drownings in Fiji: An Effective Parsimonious Model That Can Explain the Number of Cases from January 2012 to April 2015

Kathryn Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Drowning is a newly comprehended public health concern in Fiji. Defined as "the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersions or immersion in liquid," drowning has been identified as one of Fiji's 5 leading causes of death for those aged 1 to 29 years. The aim of this article was to develop the most parsimonious model that can be used to explain the number of monthly fatal drowning cases in Fiji. Based on a cross-section of 187 drowning incidents from January 2012 to April 2015, this observational study found the number of monthly drownings in Fiji was significantly affected by monthly rainfall (P =.008, 95% confidence interval = 0.10-0.62) and the number of days comprising public holidays/weekends (P =.018, 95% confidence interval = 0.06-0.60). Furthermore, the multiple coefficient of determination (r2 =.4976) indicated that almost half the variation in drownings was explained by rainfall and public holidays/weekend periods. Inadequate supervision, an inability to identify or carry out safe rescue techniques, and limited water-safety knowledge were identified as common risk factors. To overcome this preventable cause of death, technically guided interventions need to be actively embedded into a range of government policies and community health promotions, disaster management, and education programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-34
Number of pages7
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Public Health
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • El Nino Southern Oscillation
  • Fiji
  • Pacific Island countries
  • drown
  • holiday
  • public health
  • rainfall
  • season

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