This article reports on a survey conducted in Princess Marina Hospital in Botswana regarding injuries resulting in people being admitted to the orthopaedic department. Currently there is no data available on the disease profile of orthopaedic trauma patients in Botswana. The Orthopaedic Department at Princess Marina Hospital is the biggest trauma and orthopaedic department in Botswana. The study aimed to describe the disease profile of orthopaedic trauma resulting from injuries. It is a descriptive cross-sectional survey. The data was obtained from patients’ medical records. The article reports on the demographic background, the cause of traumatic injury and the qualifications of individual doctors treating orthopaedic trauma patients. The researcher used medical records from 147 subjects consisting of 104 (71%) males and 43 (29%) females. Road traffic accidents and falls accounted for more than 77% of total orthopaedic admissions. In the age group 1 to 5 years, the most common cause of injury was due to falls and in the group 18 to 65 years of age the most common cause of people being admitted was road traffic accidents. It was found that economically active males were the most affected population. Despite the government of Botswana’s many efforts to combat road traffic accidents these continue to be the most common cause of traumatic injury resulting in orthopaedic patients’ admissions. Recommendations are that interventions should be targeted at economically active males. Policies and guidelines on combating road traffic accidents should be reviewed and old policies not deemed effective should be replaced with effective and efficient policies.
Keywords: Botswana, orthopaedic department, traffic accidents Received 30 March, 2016; Accepted 27 May, 2016