Factors influencing drowning on Lake Tanganyika: Rumonge Province, Burundi.
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Introduction: Drowning is a serious and neglected public health threat, annually claiming the lives of 360.000 people worldwide, making it the world’s third leading cause of unintentional injury mortality with the African region contributing 20% of the global drowning mortality burden. In Burundi, the Global Burden of Diseases showed 0.9% of prevalence of drowning raising it on the rank of 17th cause of mortality in 2010. Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess factors influencing drowning at Lake Tanganyika: a case study of Rumonge Province, Burundi so as to develop prevention strategies which are applicable based on the actual situation. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted following records from the police and all the registered cases of drowning from January 2014 to December 2019 was reviewed in Rumonge Province. Both quantitative (checklists) and qualitative (key informant interview guide) data collection methods were used. Checklist uploaded in Epi-collect 5 software was used to collect quantitative data on demographic characteristics, activity prior to drowning while reviewing the records from police. The collected quantitative data was entered and cleaned using Epi-data version 3.0, after which it was exported to Stata/SE 15.0 software for analysis. The key informant interviews was recorded during the interview. The recordings were transcribed and analyzed manually to generate themes and sub-themes following multiple reading of interview. Results: Out the 102 cases identified, 92.16% were male and the mean age was 24.17 (SD±10.19). 66.67% of the drowning cases were fishing and for 48.04%, the incident happened during morning (12 AM to12 PM). Also 80.39% incidents happened in the lake while 19.61% happened in the river. It was found that alcohol use and lack of swimming skills among fishermen increased their chances to drown in water whereas for children it was lack of supervision. Then use of lifejackets and children supervision were suggested as prevention strategies. Conclusion: Drowning is a problem on Lake Tanganyika. More effort and strategies are needed in order to reduce drowning events. These includes use of lifejackets and avoid contact with water.