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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Trauma Surgery and Acute Care Open, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2018, Article number e000252.

The published version is available at Copyright © Maine et al.


Background: The contribution of interpersonal violence (IPV) to trauma burden varies greatly by region. The high rates of IPV in sub-Saharan Africa are thought to relate in part to the high rates of collective violence. Malawi, a country with no history of internal collective violence, provides an excellent setting to evaluate whether collective violence drives the high rates of IPV in this region.

Methods: This is a retrospective review of a prospective trauma registry from 2009 through 2016 at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. Adult (>16 years) victims of IPV were compared with non-intentional trauma victims. Log binomial regression determined factors associated with increased risk of mortality for victims of IPV.

Results: Of 72 488 trauma patients, 25 008 (34.5%) suffered IPV. Victims of IPV were more often male (80.2% vs. 74.8%; p

Discussion: Even in a sub-Saharan country that never experienced internal collective violence, IPV injury rates are high. Public health efforts to measure and address alcohol use, and studies to determine the role of "mob justice," poverty, and intimate partner violence in IPV, in Malawi are needed.

Level of evidence: Level III.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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